A proposed constitutional amendment in North Carolina that
would define marriage as between a man and a woman has the support of more than
60 percent of likely voters, according to a new poll.
Citizens will vote on the issue in May.
The poll by the left-leaning Public Policy Polling (PPP) shows the amendment
winning by a margin of 61-34 with support from Republicans, Independents and
Democrats. Although Public Policy Polling leans left, its polls on the issue of
gay “marriage” are among the most accurate because it uses automated polling,
which – many polling experts believe – allows respondents to give more honest
answers on the controversial topic. PPP was the only polling company in 2009 that
correctly predicted Maine citizens would vote to overturn a “gay marriage” law.
In the North Carolina poll, Republicans favor the amendment 80-17 percent, with
Independents (52-43 percent) and Democrats (49-44) also supporting it.
Significantly, 70 percent of black Democrats – a key voting
bloc – favor it.
The poll used the exact wording of the amendment and asked 671 likely primary
voters, “Would you vote for or against a constitutional amendment to provide
that marriage between one man and one woman is the only domestic legal union
that shall be valid or recognized in this State?” The poll also found that, by
a margin of 63-30 percent, voters “think same-sex marriage should be” illegal.
An Elon University poll in September used different wording – and live callers –
and found the amendment actually failing, 56-39 percent.
Tom Jensen, director of Public Policy Polling, argued in a 2010 blog that
automated polling on the subject is more reliable. He wrote the blog after CNN
released a poll showing a slight majority of Americans favoring marriage
“(People are) more likely to tell their true feelings on an automated poll
where there’s no social anxiety concern than to a live interviewer who they may
be worried about the reaction of,” Jensen, who supports gay “marriage,” wrote. “It
is frankly impossible, based on the results of gay marriage referendums over
the last decade, to believe that a majority of Americans support its
legalization. Dark blue states like California and Maine voted against it just
in the last two years.”
North Carolina would become the 30th state to define marriage in the
traditional sense in a state constitution.
Traditionalists warn “gay marriage” legalization would have a host of negative
effects on religious liberty, impacting what is taught in schools and forcing
private businesses and some religiously affiliated public organizations to
endorse that to which they are morally opposed.
(EDITOR’S NOTE – Michael Foust is associate editor of Baptist Press.)