The first major poll after the New York legislature voted to legalize same-sex marriage shows that more than half of the state approves the decision. The poll was taken ahead of Friday's vote approving gay unions.
The Quinnipiac University poll released Tuesday shows that 54 percent of voters support the legislature's actions, with a major gap between older and younger voters.
From the report:
New York State voters support 54 — 40 percent a law allowing same-sex couples to marry, with voters under 35 supporting the measure 70 — 26 percent, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today. Voters 35 to 64 years old also support the measure, while voters over 65 oppose it 57 — 37 percent.
Among religious voters, the results are mixed: Catholics are evenly split, Jews widely support it and Protestants oppose the measure 54-40 percent. The law, which goes into effect in late July, contains language that exempted religious institutions from being forced to perform ceremonies for same-sex couples.
"On gay marriage, many of the people in the pews split with their bishops," said Quinnipiac Polling Director Maurice Carroll.
Once the state senate endorsed the bill by four votes and Gov. Cuomo signed it into law late Friday, New York became the sixth state in the country to legalize gay marriage.
The issue has already gained traction on the campaign trail, where all but four Republican candidates--Tim Pawlenty, Mitt Romney, Michele Bachmann, Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich--say they support a constitutional amendment banning marriage between same-sex couples that would trump state law.