Archive for July 1st, 2007

Survey Shows Increase in Opposition to Gay Marriage

Sunday, July 1st, 2007

I usually take all survey results with a grain of salt, but I hope this one is right on the money.

WASHINGTON – The percent of the American public that opposes gay “marriage” has significantly increased over the past year, according to the latest national survey released by the nonprofit Pew Research Center. And the percent of the public that supports civil unions has meanwhile reached its lowest mark since October of 2003.

After dropping to a low of 51 in March 2006, the percent of the public that now opposes allowing gays and lesbians to marry was found to be 57 – a “clear majority,” the Pew Center reported. The latest figures are part of an 88-page report that brings together demographic trends and survey results from interviews of 2,020 adults this year.

“The question of whether same-sex couples should have a right to marry has been a divisive issue in U.S. politics since 1993, when the Hawaii Supreme Court ruled that there must be a ‘compelling state interest’ in order to continue to deny gay couples the right to marry,” the Washington-based Pew Research Center noted in its report, titled “Generation Gap in Values, Behaviors.”

“That ruling, along with a 2004 decision by the Massachusetts Supreme Court which made that state the first and only one in the nation to legalize gay marriage, have placed the issue in the center of the family-policy debate.”

Since 1993, more than 40 states and the federal government have enacted statutes defining marriage as a union between a man and a woman; and more than half of all states have enacted constitutional bans on gay marriage.

According to the latest Pew survey, the groups most likely to take issue with gay “marriage” include men, older adults (ages 50 and above), the less educated (high school or less), Protestants (particularly white evangelicals), and regular church attendees (weekly or more).

Significant partisan differences also emerge on this issue with Democrats being more divided – 48 percent opposing gay marriage vs. 42 percent supporting – than Republicans, who oppose gay marriage by a margin of better than five-to-one (78 percent vs. 14 percent).

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