New Hampshire residents want gay marriage to stay: survey

BOSTON Wed Feb 9, 2011 3:01pm EST

Marriage equality supporter Gus Thompson holds gay pride and American flags at a demonstration outside the appeals hearing on California’s Proposition 8 at the 9th District Court of Appeals in San Francisco December 6, 2010. REUTERS/Stephen Lam

Marriage equality supporter Gus Thompson holds gay pride and American flags at a demonstration outside the appeals hearing on California’s Proposition 8 at the 9th District Court of Appeals in San Francisco December 6, 2010.

Credit: Reuters/Stephen Lam

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BOSTON (Reuters) - Most New Hampshire residents are in favor of keeping gay marriage legal in the state, a poll released on Wednesday showed.

Results from a WMUR Granite State Poll showed 62 percent of survey respondents opposed repeal of the 2009 law that legalized same-sex marriage in New Hampshire.

The law took effect on Jan 1, 2010, making New Hampshire the fifth U.S. state, plus the District of Columbia, to allow same-sex marriages.

But when Republicans took control of New Hampshire's state legislature in the November 2010 elections, curiosity swirled over whether controversial social issues like gay marriage and abortion rights would get another airing.

Conservative groups have since vowed to attempt to repeal the same-sex marriage law.

In the poll, however, more than half of the respondents, 51 percent, said they "strongly oppose" repeal, against 24 percent who strongly supported such a move.

"Strong opponents of repealing same-sex marriage outnumber strong proponents by a factor of two to one," said Andrew Smith, director of the University of New Hampshire Survey Center, which interviewed 520 New Hampshire adults for the poll.

"Politically, this represents powerful resistance to changing the current law."

Some 29 percent said they would be "very upset" if the law were to be repealed, against just five percent who said they would be very upset if the law were to stand.

(Reporting by Lauren Keiper; Editing by Ros Krasny and Jerry Norton)

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