Thursday, June 05, 2008

Most Say Gay Marriage A Private Choice

A new USA TODAY/Gallup Poll should have the Christianists terrified since it found that 63% of adults say same-sex marriage is "strictly a private decision" between two people. That the government has the right "to prohibit or allow" such marriages was stated by only 33% of the respondents, with 4% of those surveyed having no opinion. In the yongest group polled - and those most likely to support a Democrat for president - 79% were against the government restricting same-sex marriage rights. Ultimately, the hate merchants are going to lose as their adherents literally die off. Thus, I suspect that we can likely expect all kinds of shrill histrionics and more outrageous lies from the Christianists as they fight the growing tide of history. Tony Perkins, James Dobson, Robert Knight and the other haters will be going uttlerly berserk and the spittle will be flying. (Note: take the comments of Mark Rozell who is quoted in the article with some caution - when I ran for school board in 1994 he never spoke with me, yet accepted my opponents claims that I was "Christian Right"). Here are some highlights from USA Today:
"Those [anti-gay marriage] initiatives did have an impact in [2004] election results," says Mark Rozell, professor of public policy at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va. "Turnout was 2.4% higher on average in those 11 states [with anti-gay initiatives] than the other 39 states." But these poll findings "suggest caution" to conservative activists who think this will mobilize voters, he says. "People were warned, with lots of overheated rhetoric, about the consequences of gay marriage in Massachusetts. They didn't see it affect their own lives. Now, most people have let loose a collective yawn about the issue."
A majority of respondents at every level of education and income say same-sex marriage is "strictly private." This was true:
**In every region: East (71%), West (64%), Midwest (63%) and South (56%).
**Among all ages except "65 and older": 18 to 29 (79%), 30 to 49 (65%), 50 to 64% (62%) and 65 and older (44%).
** Among people who say a relative, friend or co-worker personally has told them he or she was gay or lesbian (73%).
"After Massachusetts, the public has seen that the decision there has not affected people's lives as much as was feared," Rozell says. Still, there are forms of marriage Americans overwhelmingly do want to see regulated: 66% say polygamy should not be a strictly private decision; 78% say the government should regulate marriages involving someone under 16.

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