PORTLAND - According to statewide poll taken after Multnomah Countys decision to allow gay marriages, it was found that most Oregonians oppose legalization of gay marriages.
The survey of 400 voters, conducted for The Oregonian, found that 54 percent do not think same-sex marriages should be legal whereas 35 percent think the marriages should be legal. 11 percent were unsure.
Opponents of same-sex marriage said the survey results show the public is with them in their attempt to qualify a proposed ballot measure that would amend the Oregon Constitution to allow marriages only between one man and one woman.
"That's the reason we feel so strongly the debate needs to be taken to Oregonians," said Tim Nashif of the newly formed Defense of Marriage Coalition, "and that's why we're so aggrieved that the Multnomah County commissioners didn't allow us to do that."
The poll showed different opions based on age and gender.
Among voters younger than 35, 53 percent said gay couples should be able to legally marry whereas only 25 percent of voters among age 55 and older said it should be legalized.
More than 60 percent of men said they were opposed to gay marriage compared with 48 percent of women.
Among Republicans, 77 percent oppose same-sex marriage whereas among Democrats, 47 to 41 percent opposed.
In response to the question how society should deal with same-sex marriages, about a third of Oregon voters said they want to preserve traditional marriage and would oppose civil unions for gays. Another third support gay marriage, and 29 percent said they back civil unions that would legally recognize same-sex relationships. That means there could be a majority for some form of civil union.