Ahead of Wednesday’s Supreme Court ruling that same-sex couples are entitled to federal benefits, a new poll by the Castleton Polling Institute finds that the majority of Vermonters say it should be legal for same-sex couples to marry (66%) and also believe that the federal government should provide same-sex couples with the same federal benefits as heterosexual couples (74%).
According to the poll conducted June 3 to June 20, 1-in-5 of the Vermonters who oppose same-sex marriage (21%) also believe that since same-sex marriage is legally recognized by some states that the federal government should also recognize these unions.
The level of support found among Vermonters is much higher than that found recently in a national poll by the Pew Research Center. Pew found a slim majority (51%) of Americans favor allowing same sex couples to marry. Despite the differences in overall support, the Castleton poll and the Pew poll found many of the same factors related to support for same-sex marriage, with age of the respondent being one of the most influential factors.
In addition to age being a factor, support for same-sex marriage divides along party lines in Vermont as well as nation-wide; while only 12 percent of Vermont Democrats oppose same-sex marriage, a slim majority of Vermont Republicans oppose it. Independents support same-sex marriage by a wide margin.
The Castleton Polling Institute has a mission to provide systematic, objective public opinion research for Vermont. In accordance with that mission, Castleton aims to give voice to the public on important policy matters and issues pertaining to political, social and economic life in Vermont.
For more information about this poll or any of the work of the Castleton Polling Institute, please contact Castleton Polling Institute Director Rich Clark, 802-468-1306 or firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also follow Rich on Twitter@VTPollster.