Poll: Majority think the states should decide gay marriage

A solid majority of Americans opposes a broad national right to same-sex marriage, saying the power to legalize gay unions should rest with the states — even as most support marriage equality for gay people, according to the latest New York Times/CBS News poll. …

Asked whether same-sex marriage rights should be “determined by the federal government or left to each individual state government to decide,” 60 percent preferred leaving it to the states, and 33 percent the federal government.

Yet respondents also wanted equal treatment for gay people who are already legally married. By a 17-point margin — 56 percent in favor, 39 percent against — they said the federal government should recognize legal marriages of same-sex couples and provide them the same federal benefits given legally married heterosexual couples.