Reuters/Ipsos poll: Views on gay marriage still divided after court ruling

WASHINGTON Fri Jun 28, 2013 6:18pm EDT

1 of 2. Ron Gerling (L) and Darrin Martin celebrate in San Francisco, California after the United States Supreme Court's ruled on California's Proposition 8 and the federal Defense of Marriage Act June 26, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Noah Berger

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - As the dust settled on two major Supreme Court rulings this week that advanced gay marriage, a Reuters/Ipsos opinion poll showed that while about a third of Americans oppose the decisions, a majority are either in favor or had no strong opinion.

Forty-three percent of those surveyed agreed or strongly agreed with the court's decision to strike down the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act, which limited federal recognition of marriage to that between a man and a woman. The poll of 410 people who were asked separate questions about each ruling was conducted from Wednesday, the day of the rulings, and Friday.

By the same token, 41 percent agreed or strongly agreed with the court's handling of a case concerning a California law, Proposition 8, that banned gay marriage. The court declined to say whether the ban was lawful under the U.S. Constitution - a ruling that had the effect of opening the way for gay marriage in the state.

The poll showed that a quarter of those surveyed strongly opposed both decisions. About a quarter of respondents were either unfamiliar with the decisions or had no opinion.

"The recent decisions handed down by the Supreme Court are polarizing," said pollster Julia Clark. "While a plurality of Americans agree with the court's decisions to recognize same-sex marriages, a quarter remain firmly opposed."

The numbers reflect "the broader trend researchers are seeing around attitudes towards same-sex marriage, which show support increasing steadily among the populace over the past decade," she added.

Although the Supreme Court did not find a fundamental right for gay men and lesbians to marry, the two rulings taken together were seen as a major step forward for gay rights in the United States.

Both cases came before the court as polls show growing support among Americans for gay marriage but division among the 50 states.

With gay marriage now set to go ahead in California in the coming months, there will be 13 states that recognize it.

(Reporting by Lawrence Hurley; editing by Howard Goller and Jackie Frank)

We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see http://blogs.reuters.com/fulldisclosure/2010/09/27/toward-a-more-thoughtful-conversation-on-stories/
Comments (8)
REPTILEXCQ wrote:
So, 7 people in the court decided to play God and overruled Prop 8 (which are voted by the people? LOL. This is a question of morality and should be decided by the people, not the court. After all, it is the PEOPLE that have to live and deal w/ gay people, not the court. They should have the last say whether that is the moral thing to do. I doubt the people would vote in favor of gay marriage.

Jun 28, 2013 6:36pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
Galactus999 wrote:
I am very concerned that the tactics being used to promote the Gay agenda will sharply divide our country. Being told that you can’t open a store in Chicago unless you are for Gay Marriage is wrong. The disregard that the media and the Liberals have for Religious doctrine makes me think that we are going to end up more divided than ever.

Jun 28, 2013 6:50pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
onetruepipe wrote:
The disregard of other peoples liberties will destroy the country, not the ‘gay agenda’. No person should not be able to limit another persons freedom due to their dislike of any race, creed, color, nationality, sexual orientation, number of pets, type of undershorts, etc. Hate it all you like, just treat everyone equally.

Jun 28, 2013 7:09pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

Full focus