Just weeks after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned a Texas law banning sodomy, more Americans object to legal marriage for homosexuals than support it.
In the latest CBS News/New York Times poll, 55 percent would oppose a law allowing homosexual couples to marry, giving them the same legal rights as other married couples, while 40 percent would favor such a law.
Republicans hold particularly strong views against gay marriage: 71 percent of them oppose it, and 27 percent favor it. Democrats and Independents are more evenly divided; 45 percent of Democrats support it, as do 45 percent of Independents.
Younger people are much more likely than older Americans to support gay marriage. Sixty-one percent of 18- to 29-year-olds favor it; that drops to just 18 percent among people 65 and older.
Opposition to gay marriage is strong among conservatives (71 percent oppose it), blacks (63 percent) and Protestants (64 percent). Catholics also oppose it, though by a smaller margin than the entire population; 44 percent favor it and 50 percent oppose it.
There are no real differences between men and women on this issue.
This poll was conducted among a nationwide random sample of 3,092 adults interviewed by telephone July 13-27, 2003. The error due to sampling could be plus or minus two percentage points for results based on the entire sample.
For detailed information on how CBS News conducts public opinion surveys, click here.