RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - More than 60 percent of Richmond-area residents are in favor of legal same-sex marriage in Virginia, with nearly the same percentage supporting a federal law legalizing same-sex marriage nationwide, according to a new survey.
Sixty-one percent of the 3,156 respondents from the Richmond-area said they think marriage between same-sex couples should be legal in Virginia, according to the online survey. A slightly smaller number, 57 percent, said federal law should legalize same-sex marriage in all 50 states, according to the survey.
An online panel discussion stemming from the research project will be streamed live from the NBC12 studios on Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. The panel will feature religious leaders and key stakeholders. The panel will answer questions tied to the survey results as well as those posed online and on social media during the one-hour chat moderated by Curt Autry. The panel includes:
- James Parrish, Executive Director of Equality Virginia
- Victoria Cobb, President of the Family Foundation of Virginia
- Rev. Carolyn Mobley, Pastor of the Metropolitan Community Church of Richmond
- Dr. Owen Cardwell, New Canaan International Church
To take part in the dialogue go to nbc12.com/RVADialogue.
Respondents said same-sex marriage support is an important factor in choosing a presidential candidate, but it ranked below the economy, education, homeland security, foreign policy, environmental issues and abortion. Younger respondents placed more importance on same-sex marriage and education than older respondents, who were more swayed than the younger respondents by the economy, homeland security and foreign affairs.
Only 24 percent of respondents said their religious institution strongly impacted their view of same-sex marriage. The majority of Catholics and Methodists surveyed said their religious institution had no impact on their view of same-sex marriage, while the majority of Baptists and other Christians said it had somewhat or a strong impact on their views.
Among those in favor of legalized same-sex marriage in Virginia, 30 percent said their opinion had changed on the subject while 66 percent said they have always believed it should be legal in the commonwealth.
The survey was conducted June 8 - 21 by Alan Newman Research as part of the RVA Dialogue project launched in conjunction with Johnson Marketing and NBC12. It had a maximum margin of error at the 95 percent confidence level of 1.7 percentage points.