Sunday, October 11, 2009

Support Rising For Gay Civil Unions in America

From Below the Beltway. I'm not sure myself whether I support gay marriage or not. But even that figure of 39% of Americans currently supporting it surprised me as being higher than I would have guessed.

NEW YORK - An increasing majority of Americans favors allowing same-sex couples to obtain most of the same rights as married straight couples, but only 39 percent support legalization of same-sex marriage, according to a poll released Friday.

The Pew Research Center said support for civil unions has risen to 57 percent, up from 54 percent a year ago and 45 percent when the question was first asked by Pew in 2003.

Views on legalizing same-sex marriage remained almost unchanged from last year, with 53 percent opposed and 39 percent in favor, the center said.

Supporters of same-sex marriage were divided over the best way to pursue legalization, according to the survey. Forty-five percent of them favored pushing hard to legalize it as soon as possible, while 42 percent said pushing too hard for swift legalization might trigger a backlash against gays and lesbians.

There was more support for same-sex marriage among women, adults under 30 and college-educated people than there was among men, older adults and those who did not attend college.
Public opinion on this issue also varies according to age, sex, race and education. Most young people (ages 18-29) favor same-sex marriage (58%), while majorities in older age groups oppose it. Women are more likely than men to support same-sex marriage (43% vs. 34%), and whites and Hispanics are more supportive than blacks (39%, 45% and 26% respectively). Among those in the survey with a college education, a 49% plurality favors same-sex marriage, while half or more of those with less education oppose it.

Most Southerners and Midwesterners oppose same-sex marriage (60% and 54% respectively). By contrast, people who reside in the West and the East are evenly divided on the issue (47% favor vs. 47% oppose in the West, 45% favor vs. 45% oppose in the East).
In the end, this seems to me like a matter of time. Once that 18-29 cohort gets older and the next generation follows it, the number of people opposing gay marriage will slip into the minority.

Posted via email from Garth's posterous

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