Most Americans support ban on gay “marriage,” NYT reveals

.- The latest New York Times/CBS News poll has found widespread support for an amendment to the United States Constitution to ban gay marriage, revealed the New York Times on December 20.

In the article, the NYT reveals that support for a constitutional amendment “extends across a wide swath of the public and includes a majority of people traditionally viewed as supportive of gay rights, including Democrats, women and people who live on the East Coast.”

It also found “unease about homosexual relations in general, making the issue a potentially divisive one for the Democrats and an opportunity for the Republicans in the 2004 election.”

According to the poll, for 53 percent of Americans, marriage is largely a religious matter, and 71 percent of those people oppose gay marriage.  Only 33 percent of Americans say marriage is largely “a legal matter” and a slight majority of those people — 55 percent — say they support gay “marriage.”

The NYT nationwide poll found that 55 percent of Americans favored an amendment to the constitution that would allow marriage only between a man and a woman, while 40 percent opposed the idea.

The poll found that by a 61-34 margin, Americans oppose gay marriage. They are slightly more accepting of civil unions to give gays some of the same legal rights as married couples, with 54 percent opposed to civil unions and 39 percent supportive.

The Times/CBS News poll was conducted from Dec. 10 through Dec. 13 in telephone interviews with 1,057 people.

“This poll and other surveys show that as the courts have extended legal rights to gays this year, Americans have become increasingly uncomfortable with same-sex relations,” says the article.

“Even in an age when gay couples are routinely portrayed on television and constitute a prosperous demographic that advertisers have been overtly appealing to, the Times/CBS News poll found the country still sharply divided over homosexuality,” the NYT concedes.

“Half of the respondents said they viewed homosexual relations between adults as morally wrong. Moreover, an overwhelming majority, 87 percent, said they thought most people would not accept having same-sex couples married within their church, synagogue or place of worship. Sixty percent said they themselves would not accept such unions in their own places of worship,” the article also says.

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