Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Poll: Support for gay marriage up in NJ | News Story on 365gay.com

Poll: Support for gay marriage up in NJ | News Story on 365gay.com

(Trenton, New Jersey) A new poll of registered voters in New Jersey finds there is a 10 point spread in favor of same-sex marriage.
Send / Share
Add Comment
The survey, by Monmouth University for Gannett newspapers, found 50 percent of voters support marriage rights for gay and lesbian couples, while 40 percent said they were opposed.

In addition, the poll found a similar result when it came to amending the state constitution to ban same-sex marriage - 50 percent opposing an amendment and 41 percent in favor.

The release of the poll comes two months after a state mandated review of the New Jersey’s two year old civil union law recommended the legislation be amended to allow for same-sex marriage.

A bill is expected to be taken up by the legislature this year.

In 2006, the state Supreme Court ruled same-sex couples must have all the rights of marriage.

The Court gave the New Jersey State Legislature 180 days to act on the decision to grant same-sex couples the rights and benefits enjoyed by different-sex married couples, but left it up to the legislators to decide whether to call it marriage or civil unions.

The legislature opted for civil unions. But that, said civil rights groups, amounted to separate but equal.

A commission established by the state to study same-sex civil unions in New Jersey agreed with that argument.

The commission held three public hearings last year at which the majority of the testimony came from people who were in civil unions and said they were still not being treated the way married couples are by government agencies, employers and others.

For instance, the commission found that many companies in the state that are self-insured - and therefore are regulated by federal, rather than state, law - refuse to provide health insurance to the partners of their employees.

A bill to allow for same-sex marriage was filed in the last session of the New Jersey legislature, but gained little support in an election year from either House or Senate leaders. Garden State Equality believes this year it could have a strong chance of passage.

Gov. Jon Corzine has said he would sign a marriage bill if it were passed.

No comments: