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North Carolinians Still Support Marriage and Religious Freedom

A majority of North Carolinians—regardless of gender, age, race or political affiliation—support marriage as defined in the N.C. Constitution and support religious liberty protection for public officials, when it comes to marriage. As the fallout from last week’s Supreme Court marriage ruling continues to settle, the John W. Pope Civitas Institute released its June 2015 poll results on June 29, which included two questions related to marriage laws and religious liberty. More North Carolinians support North Carolina’s constitutional definition of marriage today than voted for the Marriage Amendment in 2012.

“These results show how out of step the Supreme Court is not only with natural law and reason, but with North Carolinians,” said John L. Rustin, president of the North Carolina Family Policy Council. “Despite a very concerted attack by many on marriage and religious freedom, this poll confirms that these attacks are being pushed by a small, but vocal, minority. We will continue to stand up for the large majority of all North Carolinians, regardless of gender, age, race, or political affiliation, who still support marriage and religious freedom even in the face of such a cultural onslaught.”

On the question “Do you support the State Constitution, which defines marriage as between one man and one woman,” nearly two-thirds (64 percent) of all participants responded affirmatively. Additionally:

  • Overall support mirrored the rates among men and women individually.
  • All age groups other than 18-25 year olds expressed support of at least 57 percent with 71 percent of those 66 and older supporting the Constitution.
  • Black North Carolinians expressed the strongest support for traditional marriage at 67 percent, followed closely by 63 percent of white North Carolinians.
  • A majority of all political affiliations also support the constitutional definition of marriage—82 percent of Republicans, 56 percent of Independents, and 55 percent of Democrats.

On the religious freedom question, 63 percent of North Carolinians disagree with “state government court officials, such as register of deeds, who oppose same sex marriage on religious grounds, [being] compelled to perform and certify same sex marriages, even if it clearly violates an individual’s religious convictions,” Additionally:

  • Among men and women separately, more than 6 in 10 (64 percent of men and 61 percent of women) support religious exemptions for government officials.
  • More than three-fourths (77 percent) of 18-25 year olds support such religious liberty exemptions. At least 54 percent of all age groups disagreed with compulsory participation in same sex marriages.
  • Again, black North Carolinians expressed the highest levels of support for religious liberty (66 percent), followed closely by 62 percent of both white and other race North Carolinians.
  • All political affiliations disagree with forcing government officials to participate in same sex marriages, with 76 percent of Republicans clocking in at the highest rate.

These numbers reflect support for North Carolina’s marriage amendment has gained support since its passage in 2012 when 61 percent of voters placed the definition of marriage as the union of one man and one woman in the State Constitution. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled just last week that all states must recognize and issue same-sex “marriage” licenses, regardless of what individual state statutes or constitutions say on the matter.



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