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CNN Poll: Most Americans Give Thumbs Up to Gay Marriage

Indeedy, it is getting better. A CNN/ORC poll released yesterday revealed that 54% of Americans believe same-sex marriage should be made legal. 42% still oppose the idea, but with the support at the highest levels since 2008, the news is a ray of sunshine warming our smiling faces through the storm clouds. (Forgive the cheese.) 73% of people polled aged 18-34 gave their support.

A few other interesting stats via Pink News:

Results also showed the question was one on which opinions were firmly held. Of the 54 percent support, 39 percent said they were “strongly” in favour, while 15 percent were in favour but “not strongly”.

Of those opposed to equal marriage rights between gay and straight couples, the figures were 34 percent and 9 percent respectively. Nearly three-quarters of Americans have strongly-held beliefs on the issue.

Less than a quarter, 23 percent, of Republicans supported marriage equality, compared with 70 percent of Democrats.

60 percent of people said they had a family member or close friend who was gay, compared with 45 percent in 2007.

58 percent do not believe sexual orientation can be changed, 34 percent said they thought it could.

ORC International conducted interviews with 1,009 adult Americans by telephone on May 29-31, 2012.

Sure, the division is still tight, but with pro-gay marriage support the highest it’s ever been there’s plenty to be grateful for, particularly during an election year. Even though many fights are still ahead of us, including all the religious vitriol unearthed on a daily basis, we should take a moment and think like Mama Cass:

By:           Aaron Coleman
On:           Jun 7, 2012
Tagged: , ,

    • dvlaries

      The great Cass: :) She was born too soon -and definitely gone too soon- to be the gay booster she surely would have enthusiastically been.

      Jun 7, 2012 at 12:45 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Cam

      Sitting back and trying to make people like us got us nothing.

      Since we have started calling bigots out on their bigotry and not accepting B.S. arguments like “But it’s my religion” public opinion, which was changing by about 1% a year has shifted by 15%. Well done!

      Jun 7, 2012 at 12:47 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • heydrichmuller

      “Most Americans Give Thumbs Up to Gay Marriage”

      Yes…Yes…Yes until they enter the voting booth and vote down our rights especially Liberals.

      Jun 7, 2012 at 2:18 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B

      Re No. 2 · Cam wrote, “Sitting back and trying to make people like us got us nothing. Since we have started calling bigots out on their bigotry and not accepting B.S. arguments like “But it’s my religion” public opinion, which was changing by about 1% a year has shifted by 15%. Well done!”

      It’s really more complicated – most people don’t really care personally about the issue and their opinions are based on what they hear. With all the coverage in the press about same-sex marriage, they simply hear the phrase “same-sex marriage” or its equivalent frequently and reach a point where it no longer sounds strange to them. They do some averaging of various opinions as well. Plus, as more people find it acceptable, the messages they get from their peers shifts, adding to the pro-same-sex-marriage opinions they hear.

      Basically, you have two competing advertising campaigns and the one in favor of same-sex marriage is winning. While you can try “calling bigots out on their bigotry”, what’s actually happening is that you are sending more messages in favor of same-sex marriage.
      You’d probably get the same result by ignoring the bigots and simply touting same-sex marriage instead as long as the number of messages the public gets stay the same.

      Where “calling bigots out on their bigotry” might help is in cases where the bigots react by quieting down.

      Jun 7, 2012 at 2:50 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B

      Re No 4:

      something else to look at that I didn’t mention in No 4 – what is happening to NOM et al.’s budget as public opinion shifts? If their income is sliding, they won’t put out as much anti-gay propaganda due to not having the funding to do that, which will accelerate the shift in opinion.

      Also don’t discount Obama’s recent statement in favor of same-sex marriage – that got a lot of press coverage and consequently had an impact.

      Jun 7, 2012 at 2:53 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Cam

      No. 3 · heydrichmuller said…

      Yes…Yes…Yes until they enter the voting booth and vote down our rights especially Liberals.

      Don’t you just love these Log Cabin trolls on here? “Especially Liberals”.

      Oh yes, because the conservatives just LOVE gays don’t they?

      Lets see, those LIBERAL folks in Congress voted to repeal Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, while McCain, Romney, etc… said that they would never have done that.

      You just sound ridiculous.

      Jun 7, 2012 at 8:37 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Spike

      Of course they do, until they are given the opportunity to vote on it, it’s human nature, the majority will ALWAYS vote down the rights of the minority. Whenever the majority are put in a position to question their continued majority, they circle the wagons. Its human nature.

      Jun 7, 2012 at 10:33 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • UsualPlayers

      @Spike: I don’t like our rights being voted on either. However, that’s not what happens.

      The problem is that while most Americans may support gay equality- many of those that do aren’t voting. While many people may support- its not enough reason for them to vote because its not an emotional issue for them. They support it in the sense that “sure, why, not?” rather than “I am passionate about this so let’s vote on now.”

      Whereas the bigots are really motivated to vote.

      That’s the dynamic. We are at a disadvantage because our supporters aren’t going to go out to vote on the issue where the bigots will.

      Jun 7, 2012 at 11:03 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Merv

      Right now it’s all Bradley effect, as we see clearly in the results of every ballot measure. But hopefully in a decade or two the duplicity will subside and our faux supporters will become real.

      Jun 8, 2012 at 3:10 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B

      No. 9 · Merv wrote, “Right now it’s all Bradley effect, as we see clearly in the results of every ballot measure.”

      FYI the so called “Bradley effect” may be a myth – an explanation generated by pollsters who got it wrong. If you read http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bradley_effect#Causes you’ll find a comment by a consultant to the Deukmejian campaign (Deukmejian was Bradley’s opponent): “Sal Russo, a consultant for Deukmejian in the race has said that another private pollster working for the campaign, Lawrence Research, also accurately captured the late surge in favor of Deukmejian, polling as late as the night before the election. According to Russo, that firm’s prediction after its final poll was an extremely narrow victory for Deukmejian. He asserts that the failure of pre-election polls such as The Field Poll arose, largely because they stopped polling too soon, and that the failure of the exit polls was due to their inability to account for absentee ballots.” There was also a higher than expected voter turnout in a conservative part of the state due to a handgun initiative.

      Basically, public opinion was shifting immediately before the election, probably the result of the advertising campaigns, so it isn’t surprising that slightly older polls came up with results that did not apply when the election occurred. Meanwhile the exit polls did not capture mail-in ballots, and at the time, those were more popular with Republican voters than Democratic voters.

      On the other hand, a study by a post doctoral fellow at Harvard that tried to determine if the Bradley effect is real concluded that it is real but not the only factor, claiming a few percentage points discrepancy in the vote, but that it was connected to the amount of “racially-charged” rhetoric at the time involving crime and welfare, and that has since gone away. If so, there may be an analogy regarding votes on same-sex marriage as the public gets tired of the efforts to demonize gays – you can only use that sort of rhetoric so long before people catch on.

      Jun 8, 2012 at 2:18 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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