Wednesday, July 22, 2015

POLL: Support For Marriage Equality Holds Steady In Post-Obergefell Era

Now that marriage equality is the law of the land everywhere in the United States thanks to the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges on June 26, activists and pundits have been waiting to see what impact this fact would have on public opinion. One poll released earlier this month from the Associated Presss showed a decided decrease in support for marriage equality (of 6 points), but the well-respected Gallup organization is out with its new poll, which it released with the headline "U.S. Support for Gay Marriage Stable After High Court Ruling."
Though the Supreme Court's decision has not immediately influenced Americans' overall opinion on the issue of same-sex marriage, this is not to suggest it will not affect opinion in the long run. 
Even after a 1967 Supreme Court decision that legalized interracial marriages, Gallup's polling in 1968 found that only one in five Americans (20%) approved of such marriages. It took three more decades to reach a majority of support. 
The path to legality of interracial marriage differed from same-sex marriage, though, in that the Supreme Court led public opinion bylegalizing something that Americans largely disapproved of at the time. Approval of same-sex marriage, however, has ascended significantly faster, and has enjoyed majority support for a few years before the court's decision. Still, a long view of the trend on gay marriage illustrates that support for it was steady and incremental, and that the movement's big victories in statewide ballot initiatives and legislature-enacted laws had limited effect on public opinion at large.
I really do not understand how one person's civil marriage affects someone else's. Hopefully even Republican Presidential candidates will figure that out eventually!

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