A national poll taken in December revealed a shift in the public opinion regarding the decision by the Massachusetts high court favoring same-sex marriage. Nonetheless, experts warned that should the margin of voters for protecting traditional marriages remain minimal, the U.S. would unduly follow in the steps of its Northern neighbor in legalizing same-sex marriage.
A survey of 601 voters conducted Dec. 16-18 Zogby International found that a majority wanted marriage to be reserved for opposite sex couples. The poll also found that 69 percent of voters want the option of voting on a state constitutional amendment protecting the traditional definition of marriage, although they remain divided on whether it should pass.
Forty-eight percent agreed "marriage is such an important institution that it should be defined in our constitution as the union of a man and a woman." Forty-nine percent disagreed.
"It seems the more people consider the long-term impact of homosexual marriage on the family and society, the more they oppose homosexual marriage," Ron Crews, president of the Massachusetts Family Institute, said in a statement.
The controversial ruling by the Massachusetts high court legalized same sex marriage within the state, Nov. 18. Consistently, polls taken in the state opposed national trends opposing homosexual unions.
A Boston Globe poll showed Massachusetts adults supporting the ruling by a 50-38 margin, while a Boston Sunday Herald poll showed voters supporting it by a 49-38 percent margin.
Such support has also been reflected in Canadas polls where voters are close to a 50-50 split on the issue of marriage. Last September, the Canadian Parliament failed to pass a non-binding but significant resolution affirming the traditional marriage, 137-132.
However, just four years ago, the situation in Canada was dramatically different. In 1999 Parliament passed a similar resolution with a vote of 216-55 to protect traditional marriage.
Experts in the states fear America may follow in the footsteps of Canada, should conservatives remain silent.
"It's not over in Canada, but it's going to be a lot harder now, said Darrel Reid, president of Focus on the Family Canada. "Things are happening very quickly in the States, and if Christians don't stand up there they could lose too.
The issue of same-sex "marriage" could be an election issue in both countries this year. Conservatives in America are hoping that the push for a federal marriage amendment will be front-and-center in the presidential election. Conservatives in Canada promise that they will make same-sex "marriage" an issue this year if, as expected, Prime Minister Paul Martin calls an election.
"We intend, and conservatives intend ... [to] make sure that this is a major issue in the election," Reid said.
Every member of Parliament, called "MPs," will be up for election.
"We intend to fight this battle riding by riding, so that people who are concerned about marriage in each riding will know what their member has done, has voted and what they have said on it," Reid said.