A few months after a federal judge struck down Pennsylvania’s ban on same-sex marriage, a new Muhlenberg poll shows support in the state has jumped to a new all-time high.
Morning Call/Muhlenberg College asked respondents if they believe marriages between gay and lesbian couples should be legally recognized and granted the same rights as traditional marriages. 62% of respondents said “yes”, while only 32% said “no”. Another 6% of the respondents were undecided on the issue.
This represents a nearly 30 percent rise in just ten years. When Massachusetts legalized same-sex marriage in 2004, only 35% of those in Pennsylvania agreed with legalizing same-sex marriage, as compared to the 54% who opposed it.
Chris Borick, Director of the Institute of Public Opinion at Muhlenberg College, said, “You rarely see such a change in such a relatively short period of time.”
Borick says the large jump is attributed to demographic changes in the state, with the younger generation showing more support than the older generation.
Morning Call/Muhlenberg College asked respondents if they believe same-sex marriage should be decided by federal or state law. A little more than half said it should be up to the federal government, while 39% said it should be up to the state.
In addition to same-sex marriage in Pennsylvania, Morning Call/Muhlenberg College delved into other social issues, including the legalization of marijuana and gun control.
Around one-third of those in the state support the legalization of marijuana, with 36% opposed to legalization. 29% of respondents remain undecided on the issue.
Regarding gun control, 91% favor a federal background check on all gun buyers, compared to the 8% who oppose the measure. A little less than half of those polled in Pennsylvania believe gun laws should be more strict.
The Morning Call/Muhlenberg College poll was conducted in late November and early December and surveyed 500 Pennsylvanians. The margin of error is +/- 5%.