Gay marriage proponents took exception to Quinnipiac University Poll Director Doug Schwartz’s comments regarding Wednesday’s poll which found 52 percent of voters support the Supreme Court’s ruling legalizing same-sex marriage.
In a press release Schwartz said, “Connecticut voters are not in love with same-sex marriage as a bare majority backs the state Supreme Court decision to allow same-sex couples to wed.”
Schwartz defended his comments at the state Capitol Wednesday morning saying 52 percent is just over 50 percent making it a “bare majority.”
“Everyone’s entitled to their own opinion,” he said.
“Barack Obama won the presidential election with the same 52 percent margin and his election results have been interpreted as a clear mandate for change. We view the poll results similarly—Connecticut voters, by a clear majority, support marriage equality for same-sex couples,” Anne Stanback, executive director of Love Makes a Family, said in a press release.
Schwartz said Obama’s approval rating is about 71 percent in Connecticut.
“What there is consensus on is that there should be some legal recognition of same-sex couples,” Schwartz added pointing to the question which found 43 percent say same-sex couples should be allowed to marry, which is up from 39 percent in a Feb. 15th poll.
The poll also found 39 percent say they should be allowed to form a civil union only 12 percent of voters say there should be no legal recognition of same-sex unions.
Given what occurred in California with the passage of Prop 8, Stanback said her organization is particularly pleased that an even larger majority of Connecticut voters 61 to 33 percent oppose reversing the state Supreme Court decision through a constitutional amendment.
Schwartz didn’t disagree. He said based on the polling numbers “it suggests there’s no desire to overturn the court’s ruling.” When asked if he thought something like Prop 8 would work here in Connecticut, he said, it “probably wouldn’t work.”
“Nevertheless, we know our opponents have plans to try and undo our marriage win next legislative session, and we will remain visible and vigilant to ensure that does not happen,” Stanback said.
When broken down by age group younger voters between the ages of 18 to 34 years old supported same-sex marriage 67 percent, Schwartz pointed out. Voters over the age of 55 only supported same-sex marriage 39 percent, while 50 percent disapproved.
State Sen. Andrew J. McDonald, D-Stamford, and state Rep. Michael Lawlor, D-East Haven, co-chairmen of the General Assembly’s Judiciary Committee, said in a press release that the results of a Quinnipiac University poll released today confirms overwhelming support for the rights of gays and lesbians in Connecticut to marry.
The results, they said, corroborate similar results released in a poll by the University of Connecticut just a few weeks ago. They also said that it is clear that legislation implementing the Supreme Court’s decision, which will be introduced in the state legislature this session, will pass overwhelmingly and without much controversy.