Expert Comment on Same-Sex Marriage in New Jersey

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Media Contact:Jeanne Leong | jleong@pobox.upenn.edu | 215-573-8151December 21, 2006

Expert comment from the University of Pennsylvania

Same-Sex Marriage in New Jersey

Note for TV and radio: The University of Pennsylvania has a satellite

uplink facility with live-shot capability and an ISDN line.

Dec. 21, 2006

Expert:

   Dr. Nathaniel Persily

  Professor of Law and Political Science, University of Pennsylvania

Credentials:

  Recently completed a study of public opinion on same-sex marriage which shows many more people support civil unions, which grant unmarried couples many of the legal rights of marriage

   Extensive experience in dealing with print, TV and radio reporters and editors

Quote:

"Our research has found that the backlash that followed the Massachusetts court's decision to allow gay marriage has completely subsided.  The share of the American public supportive of same-sex marriage has returned to the place it was before the courts got involved and appears to be on an upward trajectory. During that same period, an increasing share of the American public became in favor of same-sex civil unions that fall short of marriage.  The same-sex marriage debate in the courts has moved the national debate and public opinion to the left on this issue, even if no other state has followed Massachusetts' lead."

"Our conclusion is that because of the court decisions in 2003 and 2004, the debate over same-sex relationships moved to the left, and civil unions became the middle position."

Contact:

Jeanne Leong at 215-573-8151 or jleong@pobox.upenn.edu