Americans Are Less Opposed to Same-Sex Marriage, Poll Shows

Despite all the hostile rhetoric, all the hate speech and all the claims that same-sex marriage will destroy not only “traditional” marriage but American society itself, a recent Pew Research Center poll shows that while more than half of Americans are still opposed to gay marriage, less than half are opposed to making it legal.

This is a significant moment in time and it represents a shift from last year. “The shift in opinion on same-sex marriage has been broad-based, occurring across many demographic, political and religious groups,” Pew announces.

The numbers? 42 percent of Americans favor same-sex marriage, while 48 percent oppose it. The numbers for 2009 were 37 percent in favor and 54 percent opposed.

Americans are also in favor of repealing Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell; letting gays and lesbians serve openly in the military. According to Pew, “The public continues to be far more supportive of gays and lesbians serving openly in the military than of allowing legal same-sex marriages.” Sixty percent of Americans have no problem with allowing gays and lesbians to openly serve in the military; only thirty percent oppose it. In 1994, those for gays serving openly in the military numbered only 52 percent.

This figure, Pew says, has remained stable for about five years, yet according to conservatives the wheels will come off if we do what the people want.

And isn’t the Tea Party all about rights and doing what people want and not having to listen to a stodgy old government? Apparently not when it’s not what the Tea Party wants to hear. But then the Tea Party doesn’t represent the American people; it never did.

Don’t do what we say, just do…oh, whatever. I won’t even try to unravel their un-reasons for opposing gays and lesbians because I don’t think they’ve ever been able to field any sort of cogent argument. They base right and wrong on religion, not on the Constitution, and that’s where the wheels really come off.

Let’s look at some particulars:

Support for gay marriage unsurprisingly varies according to age.

  • Those born after the 1980s – 53 percent for, 39 percent opposed
  • Those born from 1965 to 1980 – 48 percent for, 43 percent opposed
  • Those born from 1946 to 1964 – 38 percent for, 52 percent opposed (I’m one of the 38 percent)
  • Those born between 1928 and 1945 – 29 percent for, 59 percent opposed

And of course, Americans are divided along political lines, 53 percent of Democrats being for legalizing same-sex marriage and just 24 percent of Republicans, while Independents register in between, at 44 percent.

In light of such polling figures and their recent inability to mount an argument in court, it is difficult to see how conservatives can regain the momentum in this civil rights issue, or to keep up the pretense that they represent “real” Americans. A populist movement that is out of touch with what the populace wants doesn’t have much going for it, and it becomes exposed as the tool of a few rich, white conservatives.

But we knew that already, didn’t we?

11 Replies to “Americans Are Less Opposed to Same-Sex Marriage, Poll Shows”

  1. This is why the Right is trying to distance themselves from this issue and pick up Islamaphobia as the wedge issue of 2010 instead…..Funny how they just switch up the issue when the polls change, eh? It’s almost as if they never valued their values at all.

  2. I too am one of the 38% Hraf lol. And very proud of it. This is about the constitutional rights of Americans, not the laws of christian sharia law brainwashing.

    The republican taliban that spouts personal responsibility doesn’t mind telling you who you can and cant love. They don’t mind telling you that “personal responsibility” is really what they say it is, not what your life, needs or wants are.

    Sarah I do note that several republicans have come out on the side of Gay rights and the rest of them are just quiet all of a sudden. Gay rights have been an issue as long as I can remember, just like taxes and as far as I am concerned are used solely as election year play-dough

  3. I’m also among the 38% of Baby Boomers who approve. In fact, I have a young member of my extended family who is gay, and the overwhelming majority of family members regardless of age show her love and support. If she finds someone she wants to spend her life with, and that person is good to her, why should I or anyone else object or feel threatened? I would only be happy for her.

    One of the lamest arguments the hard right uses is that this would threaten the institution of marriage. When anyone looks at the main causes of divorce, they are usually things like irreconciliable differences, finances, infidelity, or domestic abuse.
    Of course, if someone who is gay marries someone heterosexual in order to not truly address who he or she is, that can cause its own set of problems. But it is not a threat to the institution of marriage itself.

    It’s utterly sickening to hear adulterers like Newt Gingrich, Mark Sanford, or David Vitter stoke the flames of homophobia when they exemplify the kind of behavior that is destructive to marriages. I think the fact that they paid attention to the polls noted indicates attention to political expediency, and not a change in their true feelings. If the polls showed the opposite, they would be on a roll with this issue. It may also have something to do with the fact that among their constituents are groups like the
    Log Cabin Republicans and GoProud, who are gay.

  4. Why is this news? Being an Independent, this sounds about right. However, where are the citations for the polls? I would like to review them myself.

  5. Nevermind, I found the link. My Browser has it black, not blue like usual! Thanks for providing the link.

  6. I really believe their rebuff by the court in California must have stunned them to their socks, being told their Christocrentric arguments carried no weight legally.

  7. No problem! I thought about including it at the bottom of the article as well but thought, well, I have it linked at the top…Next time I will do both for people who experience the same problem.

  8. Well put, Anne. It seems as though morality for them is not what I say but what I do, and of course, they can always blame a permissive and diverse society (i.e. liberalsm) for their problems, making us guilty in 100% of cases. I’m sorry GOP, I’m not responsible for where your genitals go.

  9. Good point, Sarah. They really have distanced themselves from the whole thing…gotta wonder if the Mormons feel betrayed after all they spent in California.

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