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Sunday, February 22, 2004

New Mass Gay Marriage Poll

The Globe is leading with the poll results in Sunday's paper. Some of the numbers are here.

The people surveyed opposed legalizing gay marriage 53-35, a turnaround from the 48-35 margin in favor three months ago. The Catholic Church's campaign seems to have had an effect, as Catholic opposition increased from 47 to 66 percent. A strong majority (60-31) favors civil unions as well, but interestingly none of the three amendments considered by the legislature in the recent Constitutional Convention achieved majority support in the poll. This adds to my suspicion that the public is divided in such a way that even though majorities want to ban gay marriage and allow civil unions, no single amendment may be able to garner enough support to pass, in which case the SJC ruling will stand.

The SJC's favorability rating has declined due to the constant attacks on it, and strangely Tom Finneran's parliamentary trickery actually seems to have made him more favorable with voters. A large majority wants this on the ballot, as one would expect to see, though there appear to be other more pressing issues for voters: "Asked what are the important issues facing the state today, 7 percent cited gay marriages and civil unions, while 18 percent chose the economy; 18 percent, health care and health insurance; 14 percent, unemployment; 11 percent, education; and 8 percent, taxes." And that's in a poll that's all about gay marriage, which probably inflated that 7 percent number some. Much as the GOP will try to use this as a wedge in November, the fact remains that even at the center of the firestorm on gay marriage, other matters matter more to people.