HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - A new statewide poll shows a majority of Hawai'i residents support allowing gay couples to marry and fewer oppose it.
The survey was conducted through 442 telephone interviews by QMark Research. Hawai'i residents statewide were asked: "Do you strongly favor, somewhat favor, strongly oppose or somewhat oppose allowing gay and lesbian couples to marry?" 54% say they support same-sex marriage, while 31% oppose it.
"54% in support is an incredible number, but what's even more impressive is that over just the last six months, opposition has dropped by 6% which means people are really starting to understand what the issue's about. It's about equal rights and it's about aloha here in Hawai'i and welcoming others and treating them with respect," said Representative Chris Lee.
A January 2013 poll conducted by Anzalone Liszt Grove Research found opposition to same-sex marriage was 6% higher at 37%.
Lawmakers are considering holding a special session on the issue of same-sex marriage. Right now, it won't happen unless Governor Neil Abercrombie calls it himself.
"I think the poll shows that a growing majority of residents in Hawai'i support marriage equality. It's going to bring hundreds of millions of dollars into our economy. At the end of the day, it's the right thing to do," said Representative Lee.
The survey was prepared on behalf of Hawaii United for Marriage, a statewide coalition of religious congregations, businesses, labor unions and community organizations that advocates for same-sex marriage.