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Thursday, April 30, 2009

Glacial Movement

Like the CBS News poll I blogged about earlier this week, a new ABC/Washington Post poll of 1,072 adults nationwide reveals warming trends about same-sex marriage, and a thaw in oppostion to it:

At its low, in 2004, just 32 percent of Americans favored gay marriage, with 62 percent opposed. Now 49 percent support it versus 46 percent opposed -- the first time in ABC/Post polls that supporters have outnumbered opponents.

More than half, moreover -- 53 percent -- say gay marriages held legally in another state should be recognized as legal in their states.

The surprise is that the shift has occurred across ideological groups. While conservatives are least apt to favor gay marriage, they've gone from 10 percent support in 2004 to 19 percent in 2006 and 30 percent now -- overall a 20-point, threefold increase, alongside a 13-point gain among liberals and 14 points among moderates. (Politically, support for gay marriage has risen sharply among Democrats and independents alike, while far more slightly among Republicans.) . . .

Seventy-five percent of evangelical white Protestants say gay marriage should be illegal, and 68 percent feel that way strongly. Similarly, 83 percent of conservative Republicans are opposed, 73 percent strongly. Among all conservatives regardless of political affiliation, 66 percent are opposed.

Across the spectrum, 75 percent of secular Americans favor gay marriage, 55 percent strongly; so do 71 percent of liberal Democrats, 57 percent strongly; and 71 percent of all liberals, 54 percent strongly. Among all Democrats, 62 percent are in favor; among all Republicans, 74 percent are opposed.

The middle makes a significant difference: Fifty-four percent of moderates and 52 percent of independents now favor gay marriage, up from 38 and 44 percent, respectively, in 2006. But the single biggest shift has come among moderate and conservative Democrats: in 2006, just 30 percent in this group said gay marriage should be legal. Today it's 57 percent.

One other very pronounced difference is by age: Sixty-six percent of adults under age 30 support gay marriage. That drops to 48 percent of adults age 30 to 64 and plummets to just 28 percent among senior citizens.
Unlike the CBS poll, this one did not raise the question of civil unions.

The poll also covers such topics as marijuana, illegal immigration, gun control, torture, greenhouse gasses, and relations with Cuba; trends in those areas are mixed.

I wonder how long it will take for the "thaw" over equal marriage to reach Texas. Probly not in time to make any difference in my life - who gets married at 85, anyway?

Besides, you can have eat, drink, dance, smoke, gamble, garden, blog, skinnydip, and have sex all by yourself - but marriage you really gotta have somebody to do it with, ya know what I mean?

But even if it's a moot point for me personally - and getting mooter all the time - still, I hope I live to see the day when wedding bells ring out across the prairie for the younger generation of gays - something my generation has only ever been able to dream wistfully about.


Kevin said...

I hope I'll be here the day when wedding bells ring for gays as well.

Russ Manley said...

I'll dance at your wedding, Kevin . . . .

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