FEDERAL MARRIAGE AMENDMENTS (FMA) TO THE U.S. CONSTITUTION
Public opinion polls: 2006-APR/MAY
In this essay, and others, "SSM" means "same-sex
We use the term "SSM" rather than the more commonly used term "homosexual marriage"
because many same-sex marriages and committed relationships are composed of one or more bisexuals.
2006-APR public opinion poll:
Poll results vary greatly according to the exact questions asked, and whether
the subjects were able to select from multiple options.
Peter D. Hart Research Associates" They conducted a poll in 2006-APR among
802 registered voters. The margin of error is ± 3.5 percentage points:
|When asked "Would you support amending the Constitution to make it
unconstitutional for homosexual couples to get married anywhere in the U.S.
or should each state make its own laws on homosexual marriage?" Results were:
|49%: Each state should make its own laws.|
|33%: Favor amending the U.S. Constitution|
|18%: Not sure.|
|When asked whether they agreed with the statement: "Regardless of how
I feel about gay people getting married, I have concerns about changing the
Constitution over this issue," results were:|
|46% strongly agreed, |
|17% somewhat agreed, |
|11% somewhat disagreed,|
|21% strongly disagreed.|
|Political independents were 62% in agreement; Roman Catholics were 69%
and seniors 63%.|
|Support for SSM appears to be dropping even as support for civil unions is
increasing. Results for a poll in 2004-MAY and 2006-APR were:|
|Gay/lesbian couples should have the same right to marry
as men and women do.
|Give civil unions or other legal rights to same-sex
|Give no legal regulation to gay or lesbian couples
The Human Rights Campaign, a gay-positive human rights group, wrote:
|"Catholic voters are especially wary of the amendment. Majorities of
Catholic voters say states should make their own marriage laws (53 percent,
while only 37 percent support the amendment). When asked about the statement
about love and commitment. Regardless of how I personally feel about gay people
getting married, I don't think it's my place to judge these people's love for
and commitment to each other,' an overwhelming 80 percent agreed."|
|"General political environment for gay issues is changing. In a similar survey
done by Hart in May 2004, only 40 percent of voters said it was very important
that we ensure gays and lesbians receive the same rights under law as other
Americans. In this poll, 51 percent said it was very important." That is an
unusually large change in 23 months. 13|
2006-MAY public opinion poll:
Gallup Poll: They conducted a poll among 1,002 American adults from 2006-MAY-08-11. The margin of error is about 3
percentage points. Results were:
|On extending marriage to include same-sex couples:
|58% are opposed. |
|39% are in favor|
|3% are undecided or did not respond.|
|On amending the federal Constitution to ban same-sex marriage:
|50% favor an amendment|
|47% are opposed|
|3% are undecided or did not respond.|
|The trends appears to be towards decreased
opposition for same-sex marriage. The Gallup Organization asked "Do
you think marriages between homosexuals should or should not be recognized
by the law as valid, with the same rights as traditional marriages?"
They reported opposition at:
|68% in 1996-MAR;|
|62% in 1999-FEB;|
|59% in 2005-AUG; |
|58% in 2006-MAY.|
Timing is very important for the FMA. If the trend continues at this rate,
opposition to SSM will reach a minority position before the year 2015. If
religious and social conservatives are unable to have the FMA passed by congress
and ratified by 76 states in the near future, public opinion may turn against
A bit of perspective....
It may be worth noting that:
|In 1948, about 90% of American Adults opposed
interracial marriage when the Supreme Court of California legalized it. 18|
|In 1967, about 72% were opposed to interracial
marriage when it was legalized everywhere in the
U.S. by the Supreme Court in 1967. 17|
|In 1991, those adults opposed to interracial
marriage became a minority. 17|
During this interval, the opposition to interracial
marriage dropped by a little under one percentage point per year. This is
surprisingly close to the rate at which opposition
to SSM is currently dropping.
The following information sources were used to prepare and update the above
essay. The hyperlinks are not necessarily still active today.
- "Oppose the 'Federal Marriage Amendment' (S.J. Res. 1)," Leadership
Conference on Civil Rights, 2005-APR-12, at:
- "Senate Judiciary Committee Approves
Discriminatory Constitutional Amendment, ACLU Denounces Amending the
Constitution Behind Closed Doors," ACLU, 2006-MAY-18, at:
- "NAACP Testimony in Opposition to the Federal Marriage Amendment,"
NAACP, 2004-MAR-04, at:
- "NAACP Board Chairman Bond Is Featured Speaker at Equality Maryland Jazz
Brunch," NAACP, 2005-N0V-23, at:
- "An Open Letter to the U.S. Senate from America’s Clergy," Clergy for
Fairness, at: http://www.clergyforfairness.org/
- "UCC joins Clergy for Fairness campaign to oppose Federal Marriage
Amendment," United Church of Christ, 2006-MAY-26, at:
- "Cardinals Back Marriage Amendment," National Catholic Register,
- Tony Perkins, "Ask Congress to Put Children First - Sign our Marriage
Petition," Family Research Council, 2006-APR-27, at:
- "The Marriage Protection Pledge," Family Research Council, 2005-OCT-02, at:
- "U.S. Senate To Vote On Homosexual Marriage June 6TH. The most important vote in the
Senate this year! The future of our children is at stake," American Family Association,
undated, at: http://www3.capwiz.com/
- "Voice Your Values for Marriage Before the Senate Votes!," Family
Research Council mailing, 2006-MAY-30.
- ACLJ radio program, Sirius channel 159, week of 2006-JUN-02.
- "HRC poll shows marriage amendment not priority for voters,"
2006-MAY-09, at: http://www.gayalliance.org/
- Allie Martin, Jody Brown, and Rusty Pugh," Agape Press, 2006-JUN-02, at:
- "GOP renews fight against gay marriage. Bush calls for amendment, but
critics see election-year diversion," CNN, 2006-JUN-05, at:
- Michael Foust, "Gallup poll: 58 percent oppose 'gay marriage,' half
Baptist Press, 2006-MAY-22, at:
- John Rogers, "Kung Fu Monkey" blog, 2005-MAR-16, at:
- Gail Mathabane, "Gays face same battle interracial couples fought,"
USA Today, 2004-JAN-25.
Copyright © 2006 by Ontario Consultants on Religious
Originally written: 2006-MAY-25
Latest update: 2006-JUN-05
Author: B.A. Robinson