According to a new poll, 52% of registered voters are in favor of same-sex marriage while 59% are against Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act, which prohibits the federal government from granting benefits and protections to legally married same-sex couples.
Interestingly enough, some voters who oppose gay marriage nonetheless believe that if same-sex couples are allowed to legally marry in their state, then the federal government should recognize their unions.
Meanwhile, 62% of respondents agree that “it is discrimination for the federal government to deny marriage protections and benefits to legally married same-sex couples.” 34% disagreed with this statement and 4% remained unsure.
Other findings include:
Just under eight in ten (78%) respondents say legally married same-sex couples should not be denied “being able to visit your spouse or child in the hospital or ride with them in an ambulance in an emergency.”
Roughly seven in ten say the federal government should not deny “family and medical leave” (71%), “survivor benefits if a spouse is killed in the line of duty as a police officer, fire, fighter or state trooper” (70%), health insurance benefits covering your spouse or children (69%), or protections and benefits for military spouses (69%).
Roughly two-thirds of registered voters also say the federal government should not deny other benefits and responsibilities, including the ability to inherit a home or other property when a spouse dies (68%), access to a spouse’s pension plan (67%), and Social Security benefits (66%).
Center for American Progress Executive Vice President Winnie Stachelberg hopes the poll influences the Supreme Court Justices, who are expected to rule on the federal challenge to DOMA — Windsor v. United States — before their term ends in June.
“The findings of this poll should provide significant headwinds to LGBT advocates and allies and demonstrate to the Court that the thinking behind DOMA is outdated and indefensible,” Stachelberg told the Washington Blade.
GLAD Civil Rights Director Mary Bonauto echoed Stachelberg’s feelings.
“It’s not surprising that a majority of this country now believes that loving, committed couples in legal marriages should be treated fairly under federal law,” she said. “It’s time for our laws to catch up with where public opinion is on abolishing DOMA.”