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New NYT/CBS poll finds 17-point public opinion split in favor of marriage equality

Marriage equality

NYT poll

The headline tells the story: a new New York Times/CBS news poll released last week finds that 56 percent of respondents support allowing same-sex couples to marry, with 39 percent opposed to marriage equality.  That’s a 17 point split, and yet another strong indicator of just how quickly the nation is shifting on the issue.

Sixty-four percent of respondents in the poll said that individual states should be allowed to make their own laws about marriage equality, while 33 percent believed the federal government should institute a nationwide rule.  (Of course, that would pose some constitutional issues.)  Intriguingly, Democrats were more likely to favor the federal government when asked that question, while independents and especially Republicans favored individual states.

Across party lines, the NYT/CBS poll showed familiar splits: Democrats overwhelmingly support marriage equality (at 70 percent), a strong 58 percent of independents do as well, while only 40 percent of Republicans think same-sex couples should be allowed to wed.  Having said that, 62 percent of so-called ‘Republicans moderates’ in the poll support marriage equality, and Republicans age 18-44 support it by a 56-39 percent margin.

You can read the full results of the Times/CBS poll here.

In other polling news, a Michigan State University poll also released last week found that 54 percent of the state’s residents support marriage equality, with 36 percent opposing it.  Support is up one point and opposition is down three points from the last poll conducted by the university in 2012, although the previous poll, from 2010, was dramatically different, with only 48 percent support and 51 percent opposition.

“Support for gay marriage has increased in the last 20 years, in Michigan and across the country,” Charles Ballard, an MSU economics professor and director of the survey, told WILX. “In Michigan, it appears that the period between 2010 and 2012 was the critical time when public opinion shifted most dramatically in favor of gay marriage. Since the results in 2012 and 2014 are fairly similar, these results suggest that the increase in support for gay marriage is a long-term phenomenon and not just a temporary one.”

A federal judge in Michigan is currently presiding over a marriage equality case in the state.  We’ll have more coverage of that trial later today.


  • 1. Zack12  |  March 3, 2014 at 8:09 am

    Big news in Michigan, Sharif Girgis, one of the Co-Authors of the disgusting What Is Marriage book along with NOM's Robert George and Ryan T Anderson, got a through thrashing by our side and has been disqualified as an expert witness by the judge.
    The anti side just took a big hit.

  • 2. karls  |  March 3, 2014 at 8:42 am

    ROTFL…the judge said he would be an expert witness….some day. 😀

  • 3. SoCal_Dave  |  March 3, 2014 at 11:37 am

    Best line goes to …..
    "The fact is you're still a student. Someone else is still grading your papers," said attorney Ken Mogill, co-counsel for two Detroit-area nurses challenging the gay-marriage ban.

  • 4. Keith  |  March 3, 2014 at 8:50 am

    I bet the anti-gay side didn't expect that. The judge hearing the case was nominated by Ronald Reagan and confirmed in 1988.

  • 5. JayJonson  |  March 3, 2014 at 9:15 am

    Excellent. Their books is absurd and has been roundly condemned as nonsense.

  • 6. Kevin  |  March 3, 2014 at 10:13 am

    Amazeballs! Where are you getting the info?

  • 7. apfpilot  |  March 3, 2014 at 8:27 am

    that is great news, I've been tearing apart Ryan on twitter as well. I just read the motion for dismissal arguments in the case and was really moved by Ms.Deboer and Ms.Rowse's affidavits. I really don't know how someone could read what they have done for their children and what they would have to go through if one of them passes away, and not support marriage equality.

  • 8. Zack12  |  March 3, 2014 at 10:01 am

    They don't care. They view us as sinners and nothing more then that. In their eyes these children truly would be better off rotting in foster care then being raised by a same sex couple.
    These are the same people who had the gall to look at Edie Windsor's relationship with Thea Spyer throughout the years and claim it wasn't real and that she and others deserved no acknowledgment from the federal government.
    They are bigots, pure and simple.

  • 9. ABC  |  March 3, 2014 at 10:11 am

    " In their eyes these children truly would be better off rotting in foster care then being raised by a same sex couple. "

    Here's one supporter of man-woman marriage that absolutely disagrees with that statement.

  • 10. davep  |  March 3, 2014 at 10:52 am

    Oh? Then what is your justification for denying these families – and their children – the important legal rights and legal protections of civil marriage?

    And by the way, I 'support man-woman marriage' too. Just like I support equal civil marriage rights for same sex couples. When you resort to bumper-sticker rhetoric like 'I support man-women marriage' when you really mean "I OPPOSE civil marriage rights for same sex couples" you are being dishonest. Say what you mean.

  • 11. apfpilot  |  March 3, 2014 at 12:27 pm

    I find it difficult that one can be against same sex marriage and not have a view that while maybe isn't that extreme but not at least have the view that: despite mountains of research that children are better served and have better results when their parents are married (regardless of sexual orientation or sex) I don't want children to have that benefit.

  • 12. Rose  |  March 3, 2014 at 8:36 am

    These so called experts are NOTHING more than folks who HATE Gays and Lesbians!!!

    I'm glad the Judge can see them for who they really are!!!

  • 13. JimT  |  March 3, 2014 at 10:26 am

    Andrew Suszek says “same-sex rights win in district court is much less significant than any win at the appellate level.” He also criticizes judges and reporters for saying that the battle for same sex marriage is unbeatable.

  • 14. davep  |  March 3, 2014 at 11:01 am

    His argument in that article is based on a logical flaw. The Windsor decision was a 'two pronged' decision, based on both states rights and compliance with Constitutional principles of Equal Protection and Due Process, as he describes. He got that part right. But he is trying to argue that a future federal decision would be a logical "OR" decision, rather than a logical "AND" decision:

    Yes, civil marriage laws should be determined at the state level – AND – those laws must comply with the U.S. Constitution. Not "OR". "AND" they must comply with the U.S. Constitution.

  • 15. apfpilot  |  March 3, 2014 at 12:30 pm

    wasn't the only question (beyond the article III question) posed in Windsor one of the federal government having to recognize a marriage that was legally performed in a state?

  • 16. davep  |  March 3, 2014 at 1:26 pm

    Yes, and that's why it has been pointed out that the decision COULD have stopped at just that point of the 'federalism' question. But the decision did not stop there. It went on to articulate why the denial of recognition was a violation of the rights of the affected individuals, not just a violation of states sovereignty. It pointed out that civil marriage laws should be left to the states, BUT, like all other state laws, these laws must still comply with the principles of Equal Protection and Due Process in the U.S. Constitution.

  • 17. jpmassar  |  March 3, 2014 at 11:45 am

    Arizona: PPP new poll: 49/41 support for legalizing gay marriage

  • 18. ReaperX  |  March 3, 2014 at 1:16 pm

    Wanted to amplify davep’s point. The Windsor majority opinion mentions states’ rights to regulate and define marriage four times, and every single mention includes the qualification that this power is subject to constitutional guarantees.

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