Poll: Pa. governor made right choice on gay marriage case

A majority of voters in Pennsylvania agree with the Republican governor's decision last month not to appeal a court ruling that legalized gay marriage in the state, according to a new poll. 

Fifty-six percent of voters said Gov. Tom Corbett made the right decision in refraining from appealing the decision, according to a poll by the Democratically affiliated Public Policy Polling. Another 33 percent said he should have appealed. 

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Last month, Pennsylvania became the 19th state to legalize gay marriage after U.S. District Court Judge John Jones ruled the state's law barring gay marriage violated the Equal Protection and Due Process clauses of the Constitution.

Forty-five percent of voters agreed with the court ruling. A slightly higher number, 48 percent, of voters said gay marriage should be allowed in the state, compared to 44 percent who think it should not. Another 9 percent are unsure. 

The Pennsylvania secretary of State had already refused to defend the law and Corbett's administration concluded an appeal was unlikely to be successful. Corbett, who is up for reelection this year, said he continues to oppose gay marriage, nonetheless. Polls have shown he is vulnerable heading into November, with low approval ratings. 

"I continue to maintain the belief that marriage is between one man and one woman," he said at the time. "My duties as governor require that I follow the laws as interpreted by the courts and make a judgment as to the likelihood of a successful appeal."

Most voters, 65 percent, said the ruling has had no impact on their lives. Twelve percent said it had a positive impact, while 23 percent said it had a negative impact. 

PPP noted that Tuesday's poll is the first time a plurality of voters have approved of gay marriage in its polling of the state. 

However, a Quinnipiac poll in March found 57 percent of voters would support a law allowing allow same-sex couples to marry. 

The PPP survey polled 835 registered voters from May 30 to June 1 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 percent.

 

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