“Republicans are clearly not moved by a change in terminology,” Redlawsk said. “This suggests that their opposition to legalizing same-sex marriage is deep and unlikely to change easily. Likewise, those with some college education, who are already pretty supportive of gay marriage, do not become more so simply because the words change.
Nearly a quarter of New Jerseyans have a gay or lesbian family member. More than half have a gay or lesbian friend or acquaintance. About 60 percent of each group supports legal recognition of gay marriage. Using the term marriage equality makes no significant difference to either group but increases support by 11 points to 62 percent among those without a gay or lesbian family member or friend. Respondents without a gay or lesbian friend or acquaintance are even more affected: support climbs 16 points from 43 percent for gay marriage to 59 percent of marriage equality.
“Again we see those with likely greater knowledge on the issue are less influenced by changing the language,” Redlawsk said. “But those who have less contact with gay and lesbian people most likely are less connected to the issue and thus more easily moved by changing its frame.”
The poll results are from a survey of 903 adults conducted statewide by phone from Oct. 6 to 9. The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.4 percentage points.
— TOM HESTER SR., NEWJERSEYNEWSROOM.COM