Proponents of gay marriage scored a huge victory in June when the New York Legislature passed a law legalizing it, advocates celebrated when Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed it, and Mayor Bloomberg marked the occasion by officiating the wedding of two top staffers. In short, the political establishment embraced gay marriage in New York, and now it’s a part of life in the state.
In Vermont, it’s been part of life since April of 2009. A new survey from Public Policy Polling provides a look into how the law is viewed by Vermont residents, who have clearly accepted it as part of the state’s social fabric: 58% say that same sex marriage should be legal.Ever more more instructive was one of the questions in the poll that asked if “…the legalization of gay marriage in Vermont had a positive or negative impact on your life, or has it not had any impact at all?” Overall, 60% of respondents said it hadn’t had any impact at all, but a look inside the numbers saw that this opinion was held by a majority of most voters in the state by ideology. The crosstabs show that 73% of political moderates said there was no impact on their own lives, so did 60% of those who said they were “somewhat conservative,” and 43% of those who describe themselves as “very conservative.” The “very conservative” category was the only one with a majority saying that the new law had a “negative effect” on their life, at 56%.
Lest anyone think that this group of somewhat-to-very Vermont conservatives aren’t the real thing, this same group opposed the newly established state-level single payer health care system by large margins, with 68% of “somewhat conservative” voters rejecting it and 81% of the “very conservative” category.
The PPP (D) survey included automatic interviews with a large sample of registered voters for a small state like Vermont, 1,233 voters. The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.8 percent.