Thursday, June 07, 2012

The CNN/ORC Poll on Gay Marriage

A new poll commissioned by CNN and conducted by ORC International provides additional evidence that American opinion on Gay Marriage has swung to the “In Favor” position.

In a poll of 1,009 adults, 756 via landline and 253 via cell phone, CNN/ORC found 54% in favor of recognizing gay marriages as valid and 42% opposed. This is a swing of 10 points since 2008 when 44% were in favor and 53% opposed.

More interesting is the breakdown by age group. Those in the 18-34 age group were in favor by 73%-24% and those in the 35-49 age group were in favor 55%-43%. Those in the 50-64 age group were slightly opposed 50%-46% and those 65 or over were strongly opposed 62%-34%. It’s unfortunate that older Americans are more likely to vote.

Education appears to matter as well. Those with a college degree were in favor by 60%-37%. Those with no college were opposed 50%-47%.

As for political affiliation, no surprise there, Democrats were in favor 70%-28%, Independents were in favor 60%-37% and Republicans were opposed 72%-23%. And they wonder why Democrats and Republicans can’t work together.

As for region of the country, the West was most in favor 65%-32%, followed by the Northeast 63%-32%, then the Midwest 50%-47%. Only the South was opposed (duh, ya think?) 52%-44%.

Urban and suburban dwellers were in favor by an almost identical 58%-39% and 57%-39% respectively. Rural dwellers were opposed by 56%-40%.

Another question I found interesting was whether someone thought sexual orientation can be changed. Even groups opposed seem to be coming around to the realization that sexual orientation is fixed and that’s the first step to acceptance.

So how come Gay Marriage can’t win at the polls?

Part of that is probably that the people most likely to vote are also those mostly likely to be opposed. Most votes have also taken place in more conservative states.

Maine may be the first state to approve Gay Marriage by popular vote this fall. It’s going to be close despite recent polls showing 58%-40% in favor because the anti-gay marriage crowd hasn’t started its dirty tricks campaign yet. Oregon and Maryland may also have votes trying to repeal the Gay Marriage laws passed by the legislatures. These are not traditionally conservative states so we shall see.

I believe (hope?) that’s once the people of a single state stand up and say “AYE,” the floodgates will open because it will be hard for other Americans not to follow. When that happens one of the last bastions of overt discrimination will topple and that will deal a severe blow to religion.

That blow won’t be fatal of course but hopefully it will further weaken an already teetering Catholic Church and drive folks, especially young folks, away from fundamentalist sects.

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