- The Washington Times - Sunday, December 21, 2003

A majority of Americans oppose same-sex “marriage” and favor amending the Constitution to ban such unions, according to a New York Times/CBS News poll.

Of the 1,057 respondents, 61 percent said they would oppose proposals allowing homosexual couples to “marry” and 55 percent said they favored a constitutional ban.

Asked whether homosexual relations between adults should be legal, 49 percent said no and 41 percent said yes.

Democrats and women, two groups that traditionally support homosexual rights, tended to oppose same-sex “marriage” and favor the constitutional ban.

Fifty-seven percent of Democrats said they opposed same-sex “marriage,” and 52 percent favored a constitutional amendment. Democrats split down the middle — with 46 opposed and 46 percent in favor — on the question of whether homosexual relations should be legal.

Fifty-seven percent of women opposed homosexual “marriage,” and 54 percent supported a national ban.

The poll results don’t surprise Genevieve Wood, spokeswoman for the Family Research Council.

“The public wants to be tolerant, as long as it’s theoretical. Now that they’ve seen it’s possible to become public policy, people are standing up and saying, ‘No, this is not what we stand for.’”

Polls showed a shift in attitudes after the U.S. Supreme Court in June struck down antisodomy laws and a Massachusetts high court ruled last month to allow same-sex “marriage.”

Independent voters opposed same-sex “marriage” by 58 percent, while Republicans opposed it by 71 percent. A constitutional ban drew support from 63 percent of Republicans, while independents favored the ban by 51 percent.

The poll was conducted Dec. 10-13 with a three percentage-point margin of error. It reflects a USA Today/CNN/Gallup Poll conducted last week that shows 2-1 opposition to same-sex “marriage.”

The New York Times said homosexual rights groups were dismayed with the poll results, but were doubtful Congress could pass a constitutional amendment banning same-sex “marriage.”

“The Republican House leadership is having its own internal fight to determine what to do,” Winnie Stachelberg, political director of the Human Rights Campaign, told the paper.

President Bush last week said he would support a constitutional ban “if necessary,” but Republican House leaders appeared reluctant to push for the measure.

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