NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)–The majority of Americans support a constitutional amendment banning same-sex “marriage,” a new Associated Press poll shows.
The poll of 1,028 adults found that 54 percent of Americans favored a constitutional amendment defining marriage as solely between a man and a woman, 42 percent opposed it. International Communications Research in Media, Pa, conducted the poll Aug. 8-12.
While several polls this year have addressed Americans’ sentiment on homosexual issues, few of them have included questions about a constitutional amendment.
A CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll of 1,003 adults in July found that by a 50-45 margin Americans favored a constitutional amendment. A Wirthlin Worldwide poll of 1,000 adults in March found that 57 percent supported such an amendment.
In the new AP poll, 53 percent of adults opposed the legalization of Vermont-type civil unions that would give homosexual couples some of the rights of married ones. Forty-one percent voiced support. The percentage that opposed civil unions was up 7 percent from an AP poll three years ago.
The new poll also shows that presidential candidates who favor same-sex “marriage” or civil unions could lose votes in next year’s election. Nearly half (49 percent) of those polled said they would be less likely to support a candidate who supports same-sex “marriage.” For civil unions, the number was 44 percent. Some 10 percent of adults said they would be more likely to support a candidate who favors same-sex “marriage” or civil unions.
About 66 percent of Republicans and 40 percent of Democrats favored passing laws against same-sex marriage.
The new Associated Press poll comes as the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee’s Constitution Subcommittee prepares to hold September hearings on the subject of same-sex “marriage.” The White House has said President Bush is considering a constitutional amendment.
In related news:
Liberty University Chancellor Jerry Falwell has launched a website with the goal of collecting 1 million names supporting the Federal Marriage Amendment, which would ban same-sex “marriage.” It has been introduced in the House of Representatives and has more than 75 cosponsors.
The website’s address is www.onemanonewoman.com.
Conservative icon William F. Buckley Jr. recently wrote a column supporting a constitutional amendment against same-sex “marriage.”
“Conservatives correctly tend to back off from such amendments,” he wrote in the editorial, posted Aug. 5 on Yahoo! News. “It is correct that amendments have frequently been proposed in the past to advance tactical objectives, among them the protection of the flag against desecration. But the test now should be framed differently. It is: How does a self-governing republic proceed with a judiciary that has taken to writing basic laws?”
Buckley went on to argue, “If the Supreme Court is going to continue to perform as a standing constitutional convention, then it becomes a conservative warrant to employ constitutional defenses.”
The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court is expected to rule any day on whether homosexuals have the right to “marry.” Similar cases are pending in the lower courts in Arizona, Indiana and New Jersey.