Support for the legalization of gay marriage in New Jersey has climbed to a new high, but Garden State voters are still split on whether they think Governor Chris Christie did the right thing when he vetoed the same-sex marriage bill last month. Confused?

Today’s Quinnipiac University poll tries to make sense of it all.

“The numbers are all over the lot,” explains poll director Mickey Carroll. “Voter support for same-sex marriage goes up every time we ask, but about half of them think Christie was right to veto it. By better than 2-1, they like the governor’s proposal for a referendum.”

Specifically, the numbers are as follows: 57 percent support gay marriage while 37 percent oppose, but voters split 48 – 47 percent on whether Christie should have vetoed same-sex marriage legislation; voters support 67 – 28 percent Gov. Christie’s proposal to let them decide the same-sex marriage issue by placing it on the ballot for a November referendum.

Younger New Jerseyans are far more likely than older residents to support the idea of same-sex marriage. Carroll says, “Older people, people like me are the ones who are against it. Younger people are for it. Younger people are going to be around a lot longer than older people. It is going to happen.” Carroll is not personally against gay marriage, but he does consider himself an ‘older’ person.

Carroll says, “So the New Jersey State Legislature passed same-sex marriage and Governor Christopher Christie vetoed it. What’s left, for now anyway, is a political issue………. Only a small percentage thinks there should be no legal recognition of same-sex relationships, but a fair number prefer the state’s current legalization of civil unions and they approve Christie’s conditional-veto proposal to ensure that civil unions provide enough protection.”

Respondents were given three options for same-sex couples: 47 percent support same-sex marriage; 34 percent support same-sex civil unions; and 13 percent say there should be no legal recognition.

Broken down demographically, support for gay marriage is 61 – 32 percent among women and 51 – 44 percent among men. White Catholics support the move 52 – 43 percent while white Protestants are opposed 50 – 42 percent. Voters who attend religious services weekly oppose same-sex marriage 54 – 39 percent while those who attend services less frequently support the measure 66 – 29 percent.

From February 21 – 27, Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,396 registered voters with a margin of error of +/- 2.6 percentage points. Live interviewers call land lines and cell phones.