A new poll shows North Carolinians remain strongly divided over whether marriage between same-sex couples should be recognized as just as valid as traditional marriage.
But the American Insights poll, released Wednesday, found registered voters in the state think voters and not judges should decide that issue, and a majority oppose Attorney General Roy Cooper’s decision not to defend the constitutional amendment banning gay marriage, which voters approved in 2012.
“While a strong majority of North Carolina voters supported traditional marriage over same-sex marriage by passing Amendment One in 2012, they remain deeply divided over the issue today,” said poll director Pearce Godwin in a news release. “What’s very clear from this poll is that voters, by more than two to one, believe they not the courts should have the power to determine marriage law for the state.”
The findings include:
• Registered voters were evenly split at 46 percent on gay marriage. Likely voters oppose it by a 4-point margin.
• Support for same-sex marriage falls from 63 percent support of registered voters ages 18 to 34, to only 37 percent of those 50 to 64, and just 33 percent for those 65 and older.
• Sixty-two percent of registered voters think the issue should be decided by the electorate, while 26 percent think it should be determined by the courts.
• Registered voters, by a margin of 46-to-41 percent, oppose Cooper’s decision not to defend the state’s constitutional amendment. In July, he announced that it would be futile to continue defending the law in the wake of a federal appeals court ruling that struck down Virginia’s ban on same-sex marriage.
The poll by the North Carolina firm was taken between Sept. 5 and 10, and includced 600 registered voters, of which 459 were determined to be likely voters. The margin of error is 4 percentage points for registered and 4.6 percentage points for likely voters.