A new poll out
Thursday shows that a majority of New Jersey voters
support civil unions with rights equal to marriage over
marriage itself for gay couples. The Quinnipiac
University poll found that 60% of voters support civil
unions, with 35% opposed, while 50% oppose letting gay
couples marry, with only 44% in support. The poll also found
that 58% of voters oppose a state constitutional
amendment banning same-sex marriage.
"New Jersey voters are sending a clear message
to the legislature in Trenton that they do not want
gay marriage in the state, but at the same time they
oppose a state constitutional amendment that would ban gay
marriage," Clay F. Richards of the Quinnipiac University
Polling Institute said in a statement. "Voters approve
the legalization of civil unions for gays, but say 51
to 42% that if gays can be guaranteed equal rights
under the law without legalizing civil unions, that's OK
too," he added.
The New Jersey legislature is considering
legislation to extend marriage rights to gay couples,
following a state supreme court order in October.