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More Americans oppose gay 'marriage,' poll finds

More Americans oppose gay 'marriage,' poll finds

By Jennifer Harper

WASHINGTON, DC (4/4/2005)--Public opposition to "marriages" between homosexuals is at an all-time high, according to a poll released yesterday.

When asked whether they thought same-sex "marriages" should be recognized by the law as valid and come with the same rights as traditional marriages, 68 percent of the respondents in the CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll said they should not.

Twenty-eight percent said same-sex "marriages" should be valid and 4 percent had no opinion. The survey of 443 adults was conducted March 18 to 20.

A similar poll by Gallup last year found that 55 percent thought homosexual "marriages" should not be valid, while 42 percent said they should be recognized.

In addition, 466 adults were asked in the same time period what marital arrangements they thought should be recognized for homosexual couples.

The poll found that 20 percent favored same-sex "marriage," 27 percent said civil unions, and 45 percent said "neither."

When asked whether they favored a constitutional amendment that would define marriage as "between a man and a woman," 57 percent said yes, while 37 percent were opposed.

Last year, 48 percent favored the amendment and 46 percent opposed it.

Currently, 43 states have laws that bar recognition of same-sex "marriages," according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Twenty-six states have only statutes defining marriage as being between a man and a woman, and 17 have constitutional language. Seven states -- Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Rhode Island and Wisconsin -- have neither.

Kansas voters will decide Tuesday whether their state should amend its constitution to outlaw same-sex "marriage." Voters in Alabama, South Dakota and Tennessee will weigh in on the issue next year.

The debate is a complex one. The South Carolina state Senate will vote on a bill Thursday that would place the question on the state's 2006 ballot.

One economist told the lawmakers that the state will lose "money, talent and opportunity" if it gains a reputation as being intolerant. The economist cited a 1993 study that found anti-homosexual attitudes in Cincinnati cost the city $46 million in convention business.

Meanwhile, Connecticut's state Finance Revenue and Bonding Committee approved a bill Wednesday granting same-sex couples the same rights as traditional married couples. The General Assembly will vote on the matter next month.

Things differ in one corner of the consumer realm, however.

"Same-sex marriage might have polarized lawmakers, but it has galvanized advertisers in the gay press," the Gay Press Report said March 21.

The survey from New York-based Rivendell Media found that spending on advertising in 139 homosexual publications reached $207 million last year, an increase of 28 percent from 2003. Fifteen percent of ads for services were for same-sex "wedding" consultants, the analysis found.


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