Poll: Virginia Voters Back Same-Sex Marriage
In the wake of a federal judge striking down Virginia’s gay marriage ban last month, a new poll shows state voters supporting same-sex unions by 50 percent to 42 percent.
According to the Quinnipiac survey, released Monday, the key demographics driving support for the issue are women and 18- to 29-year-olds. Peter Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll, explained that the younger the respondent, “the more Democratic” his or her approach to the still-controversial issue.
Brown’s conclusion can be seen most clearly when contrasting support among the youngest sampled group with that of respondents 65 and older. The poll revealed 69 percent support among the former to just 35 percent among the latter.
Women back same-sex marriage by 54-38 margin, while 46 percent of men support it vs. 48 percent who are opposed.
The overall results are essentially the same as those found by Quinnipiac in July 2013, when 50 percent of respondents favored same-sex marriage and 43 percent were opposed.
The issue has recently been at the forefront of Virginia politics. On Feb. 13, U.S. District Judge Arenda Wright Allen ruled the state’s gay marriage ban was unconstitutional. And on Friday officials from Norfolk and Prince William counties filed an appeal of that decision, arguing that it usurped the state’s authority on the issue. (Voters approved a constitutional amendment barring same-sex couples from marrying in the state and forbidding legal recognition of such marriages performed elsewhere.)
Poll respondents also voiced sweeping support -- by 84 percent to 13 percent -- for use of medical marijuana by adults if it has been prescribed by a doctor.
The survey of 1,288 voters, conducted March 19-24 via land line and cellphone interviews, has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.7 percentage points.