Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Majority In Mass. Favor Gay Marriage, Adoption

Majority In Mass. Favor Gay Marriage, Adoption
by Margo Williams, Boston Bureau

March 13, 2006 - 3:00 pm ET

(Boston, Massachusetts) A majority of people in Massachusetts support same-sex marriage and allowing gays and lesbians to be adoptive parents according to two new polls.

The first survey, conducted by the University of New Hampshire Survey Center for the Boston Globe, was taken just prior to Friday's announcement by Catholic Charities that it would stop placing children for adoption rather than adhere to state law that bars discrimination on the basis of sexuality. (story)

The poll found that 54 percent of voters would be more likely to vote for a gubernatorial candidate who supported allowing gays and lesbians to adopt children.

Among Catholics, who made up about half the respondents, 46 percent said they would be more likely to vote for a candidate who supported gay adoption, compared with 26 percent who said they would probably choose a candidate who was against them.

On the weekend, Gov. Mitt Romney said he plans to file a bill exempting religious organizations from the state's nondiscrimination law in the wake of Friday's decision by the Catholic church. (story)

Romney is not seeking re-election as he focuses his sights on a GOP presidential bid. The Republican most likely to run for governor, Lt. Gov. Kerry Healey, has distanced herself from Romney's bill. Healey has said she’s opposed to exempting the church from the state's anti-discrimination laws.

Democrats who control the State House also are opposed to Romney's plan.

A second poll released Monday also had good news for gay families.

The Bay State Poll taken by the Center for Public Opinion Research at Merrimack College shows that 58 percent of Massachusetts residents favor allowing gays and lesbians to marry legally, with 32 percent opposed and 9 percent undecided.

The Catholic Church and evangelical groups are pressing for a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage in the state.

The groups have collected enough names to force the legislature to consider the ban. It would need 50 votes to pass in two consecutive sessions before the question would be put to voters.

© 2006

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