Opposition to gay marriage lower

Opposition to gay marriage is significantly lower in 2012 compared to the previous two presidential campaigns, a survey by the … Continued

Opposition to gay marriage is significantly lower in 2012 compared to the previous two presidential campaigns, a survey by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press shows.

For the first time, the level of strong support for gay marriage is equal to the level of strong opposition, researchers report. In the April 4-15 survey, 22 percent of Americans say they strongly favor permitting legal marriage for gays and lesbians; an identical percentage said they strongly oppose it.

In 2008, strong opposition was twice as high as support — 30 percent vs. 14 percent.

In 2004, when a host of anti-gay marriage ballot measures helped propel social conservatives to the polls, opposition was more than three times higher than support, 36 percent to 11 percent.

In comparison to the changes in views on gay marriage, not much has changed concerning support for legal abortion. In 2009, less than 50 percent of Americans favored legal abortion but that support rebounded to more than half of the U.S. population and has generally fit trends dating to 1995.

This time around, as in recent election cycles, voters say social issues — such as gay marriage and abortion — are not as important as the economy and jobs. While more than 80 percent of Americans cite the economy and jobs as top voting issues, far fewer rated abortion (39 percent) and gay marriage (28 percent) as very important.

The survey on gay marriage was based on interviews with 1,514 U.S. adults and had a margin of error of plus or minus 2.9 percentage points.

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About

Adelle M. Banks | Religion News Service Adelle M. Banks is a production editor and national correspondent at RNS.
  • cornetmustich

    It’s called marriage equality, and religions and their gods don’t own civil marriages or women’s bodies in America.

    Cheers, Joe Mustich, CT USA

    CT Justice of the Peace

  • amelia45

    What has happened is that young people are growing up with folks their age who turn out to be gay – and know they are just as delightful a person – gay or straight. Older folks have more family members who are coming out of the closet – and knowing that sexual orientation is simply one facet of the wonderful family member they love.

    I hope we don’t have to wait for more old fogies to die so there can be enough votes to give gay people the same rights and benefits of society. It could happen that way. But I hope not.

  • haveaheart

    amelia45,

    I don’t think it’s the “old fogies” you should be worried about. A big percentage of Baby Boomers embraced a “live and let live” ideal in their youth and still carry that with them. At 55, I can honestly say that I don’t know of a single friend who opposes gay marriage.

    The real threat seems to be young evangelicals — led by youth-oriented preachers and celebrities like Kirk Cameron and his ilk — who make outrageous claims about homosexuality which have no foundation in reality. Those are the folks who are becoming activists in the war on gays and lesbians.

    If you look carefully, you may find that the “fogies” are the ones who will be marching beside you in the fight against bigotry and narrow-mindedness.

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