Poll Shows Voters Don't Want Lawmakers Deciding NY Gay Marriage

NEW YORK - A poll released Tuesday by the QEV Analytics, a public opinion research firm in Washington D.C., shows that 57 percent of New York voters oppose gay marriage.

The results of the survey were released just as Senate Republicans are debating over whether to bring the gay marriage bill to a vote. The bill has 31 votes and needs 32 to pass. The New York State Assembly passed the measure last Wednesday.

The poll of registered voters in New York found that 57 percent agree that "marriage should only be between a man and a woman," compared to 32 percent who disagree and 11 percent who answered don’t know, or did not respond.

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About 59 percent of New York voters say the issue of marriage should be directly decided by voters in New York. Only 1 in 4 voters or 26 percent say they prefer legislators in Albany to decide on the issue of changing the definition of marriage. The other 16 percent say they don't know or gave no response.

Of the percent of 302 randomly selected voters in New York, 91 percent say they have heard of the recent push for same-sex marriage in the state.

The poll was commissioned by National Organization for Marriage, an advocacy group against gay marriage.

Brian Brown, the group's president, is urging legislators to "kill this bill" and let the voters of New York decide the issue of gay marriage.

"Our message to the New York legislature is simple: Kill this bill and let the people of New York vote on the issue-that’s good sense and good political sense too," he stated.

Referring to the over 90 percent of voters who have heard of the same-sex marriage issue in New York, Brown said they may have heard of Gov. Andrew Cuomo's push for gay marriage but they do not share his priorities. He also criticized any Republicans who would support Cuomo.

"For the Republicans to use their newfound control to pass a measure with such weak public support in order to help Andrew Cuomo run for president of the United States is not only wrong but a colossal blunder," said Brown. "To sell your principles to get elected is always wrong. To sell your principles to get the other guy elected is just plain dumb."

The gay marriage bill in New York remains deadlocked in the Senate, with some undecided Republican senators saying they will not vote for the bill unless additional religious protections are included.

Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos left a meeting with Cuomo Tuesday saying the men had worked agreements on regulations and property tax caps, but the deal did not appear to include gay marriage.

"We have not finalized the language in terms of religious protections," Skelos said of the gay marriage bill, according to Reuters.

Skelos said he expected the legislature to conclude Wednesday. The legislature was supposed to break for summer recess Monday but ongoing talks over rent laws, tax caps and gay marriage kept lawmakers in Albany.

The other issues were seen as obstacles to resolving disagreements over gay marriage but with an agreement in the horizon, a vote on gay marriage could take place Wednesday if Senate Republicans decide to bring the bill to the floor for a vote.

Fence-sitting Republican senators that could be swing votes on gay marriage include Greg Ball of Patterson, Mark Grisanti of Buffalo, Stephen Saland of Poughkeepsie and Andrew Lanza of Long Island.

Celebrities that have come out opposing same-sex marriage have included former New York Giants wide receiver David Tyree, who has said he would even trade his 2007 Super Bowl win to stop gay marriage.

"I firmly believe that God created and ordained marriage between a man and a woman, I believe that that's something that should be fought for at all costs," Tyree told the New York Daily News.

On the Web: View the full results of the survey.

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