New Poll Shows Rising Support for Civil Unions

Jodi Jacobson

A new Washington Post-ABC News poll shows a rise in support for civil unions nationwide.

A new Washington PostABC News poll shows a rise in support for civil unions nationwide.

[T]wo-thirds of all Americans now say gay and
lesbian couples should be able to have the same rights as heterosexual
couples through civil unions.

According to the Post this afternoon, "47 percent say gay marriages
should be legal, with 31 percent saying they feel that way "strongly."
Intensity is stronger among opponents, however: overall, half say such
marriages should be illegal, including 42 percent who say so strongly.

Civil unions draw broader support. Two-thirds now say they favor
allowing gay and lesbian couples to form civil unions that would give
them many of the same legal rights as married couples. That’s an
increase of 12 percentage points since a December 2007 poll that asked
about civil unions for "homosexual couples."

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In the new poll, support for civil unions is at 50 percent or better
across party and ideological lines. Support for such arrangements is
now 15 points higher than it was a few years ago among conservatives;
it’s up 13 points among Republicans.

"Democrats and independents are far more apt to favor legal marriages
than are Republicans," reports the Post.

And support is highest in the Northeast – where
most of the states that allow legal marriage are located – and the
West. Those in the Midwest and South are more apt to oppose making gay
marriages legal.

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