By Paul Kurtz
(CBS) — For the first time, a majority of New Jersey voters is in favor gay marriage.
In the latest survey by the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute, 52 percent of voters support gay marriage; 42 percent are against.
Quinnipiac’s Mickey Carroll says the numbers represent a sharp departure from the previous poll:
“It’s the first time in Quinnipiac measures that gay marriage in New Jersey has passed the 50-percent mark, and it’s a reversal. The last time we did it, in November, New Jerseyans were narrowly against it, 49-46.”
Still, there are divisions, and Carroll says they run along religious and racial lines.
“Protestants, narrowly against, 51-44. Catholics for it, 50-45. White voters, 55 to 39 in favor. Black voters, 51-45 against.”
White voters apparently see it as a civil rights issue while black voters see it as a moral issue, Carroll thinks.
Democrats in the New Jersey legislature have made same-sex marriage their opening issue this session.