9 May 2012
New Mexican Attitudes On Marriage Evolving With President’s
First Sitting President to Ever Make Such an Endorsement
NEW MEXICO – Recent polling shows that New Mexican opinions on marriage equality are evolving much like those of President Barack Obama who today courageously announced his support for ending marriage discrimination in the United States.
Polling shows a consistent increase in support for marriage equality, particularly in New Mexico. In 2010, a Bendixen & Amandi poll found that 74% of Hispanics (a group that comprises 46% of New Mexico’s population) support either marriage or marriage-like legal recognition for gay and lesbian couples. According to a 2012 PEW poll, a full 63% of young Americans say they favor same-sex marriage.
A December 2011 poll of New Mexicans found that support for same-sex marriage had increased 8 points over six-months and was nearing a majority. From the poll:
New Mexico joins its northern neighbor Colorado and nearby Nevada in a growing list of Southwestern states in favor of same-sex marriage. When PPP last polled the state in June, voters were against legalizing it by a 42-48 margin. In the intervening half-year, opinion has moved eight points, with 45% now wanting gay couples to be able to legally marry in the state, and 43% still against it. The reason for the shift is that Democrats (from 34% to 28%) and independents (44% to 37%) have lowered their opposition by six or seven points. Further, two-thirds of New Mexicans also still favor these relationships being recognized with at least the legal equality of civil unions. That includes 78% of Democrats, 71% of independents, and 41% of Republicans.
Since late last year, two cabinet members (HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan and Education Secretary Arne Duncan) and Vice President Joe Biden have publicly endorsed ending marriage discrimination. Today, President Obama threw his support behind what is perhaps the most important civil rights issue in a generation, becoming the first sitting president ever to do so.
Speaking to ABC News’ Robin Roberts, President Obama said that, “for me personally it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think same sex couples should be able to get married.”
With his statement today, President Obama has shown that he is in-touch with America’s changing attitudes on this issue.
“All families matter, plain and simple,” said Pat Davis, Executive Director of ProgressNow New Mexico. “Nobody should be discriminated against because of who they love or how they choose to live their private lives. President Obama’s statement affirms the American values of equality and mutual respect and the families of New Mexico applaud this final step in his evolution on this issue.”