Local Politics

Poll: Most N.C. voters back marriage amendment

Posted March 31, 2009 3:45 p.m. EDT
Updated April 1, 2009 6:20 p.m. EDT

— A poll commissioned by the North Carolina Family Policy Council found that almost three-quarters of registered voters would likely support an amendment to the state constitution prohibiting gay marriage.

A Virginia-based polling firm surveyed 5,009 registered voters statewide on Feb. 26 so that the Family Policy Council could gauge support for an amendment within each legislative district. No information on the poll's margin of error was supplied.

The Family Policy Council is a non-profit group "dedicated to the preservation of the family and traditional family values", according to its Web site.

Ian Palmquist, executive director of Equality North Carolina, has a different description. "The Family Policy Council is an anti-gay organization," he said in a statement issued Thursday.

Seventy-three percent of respondents said they would likely back an amendment that defined marriage as “the union of one man and one woman,” while 17 percent said they would be unlikely to support such an amendment and 10 percent said they weren't sure of their position.

“The results confirm what previous polls have shown, which is that the overwhelming majority of North Carolinians would vote in favor of a Marriage Protection Amendment if given that chance by our lawmakers,” Bill Brooks, president of the Family Policy Council, said in a statement. “The results show that the majority of voters in every Senate district and nearly every House district support the Marriage Protection Amendment.”

Elon University released a poll last week in which North Carolina residents were evenly split on the idea of a marriage amendment. Brooks said the difference in the poll results could be attributed to how the questions in each poll were phrased.

“Our findings confirm that, when voters are asked if they support preserving the definition of marriage as one man and one woman, they overwhelmingly say yes. That’s because the Marriage Protection Amendment is not about banning anything. It is about preserving marriage in North Carolina for future generations,” he said.

Palmquist countered, "Their poll misleads voters about the proposed constitutional amendment, which is not simply a definition of marriage but an attempt to deny loving, committed same-sex couples any kind of rights, responsibilities or recognition under state law."