While half of New
Jersey voters agree with the state supreme court that
same-sex couples should receive the same rights as
heterosexuals, just one in four think gay unions
should be called marriages, according to a new poll.
''People in New
Jersey are very supportive of equal rights, but the
concept of marriage is more complicated,'' said Mickey Blum,
whose firm, Blum and Weprin Associates, performed the
telephone survey for The Star-Ledger of Newark.
conducted November 1-2 and published in the newspaper
Monday, questioned 777 registered voters and had a
sampling error margin of plus or minus 3.5 percentage
support the high court's recent ruling that granted gay
couples equal rights but gave the legislature 180 days to
define those rights. Overall, 23% of respondents
favored allowing gays to marry in New Jersey.
The poll found
17% are undecided about the supreme court's ruling.
''This is an
issue people are struggling with,'' Blum said. ''They seem
to be trying to decide what is reasonable or fair.''
Gov. Jon S.
Corzine prefers calling unions between gays civil unions,
and legislative leaders have said the legislature
likely wouldn't approve calling them marriages.
chairman of Garden State Equality, a gay rights
organization, said the undecided responses in the poll shows
people don't understand what same-sex marriage means.
"There is talk about pushing through a civil union
bill, but we urge the legislature to give us time," he
A poll by
Fairleigh Dickinson University last week found 53% agreed
with the high court's decision, while 40% disagreed,
though the poll didn't ask how the rights should be
defined. A Rutgers-Eagleton poll last week found a bit
more than half of New Jerseyans favor changing the state
constitution so that same-sex marriage would be banned. (AP)
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