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Support for Same-Sex Marriage on the Rise

By Susan Brinkmann, OCDS Staff Journalist A new national poll has found that public support for same-sex marriage is rising with those in favor of the unions on the verge of eclipsing those who oppose it. Politics Daily is reporting that the latest poll from the Pew Research Center shows Americans to be almost evenly split between those who oppose and those who support same-sex marriage. The poll, conducted last week, showed 45 percent of Americans saying same-sex couples should be allowed to marry, which is up from 37 percent in 2009 (and only 27 percent in 1996). The percentage of those opposing the unions fell from 54 percent in 2009 to 46 percent in the most recent poll. This is s steep drop from the 65 percent who opposed the unions in 1996. There were stark partisan differences in the polls, with 57 percent of Democrats and 51 percent of Independents favoring the unions, while only one in four Republicans are willing to join them. The rise in these numbers is coming from across the demographic spectrum. "The trends here show that opposition to gay marriage is becoming a less and less acceptable position through the public more generally," writes Charles Franklin in the Huffington Post. "It is not merely the young who are shifting views. While individual states are certain to vary widely in the balance of public opinion, the national shift is so striking and so regular that it is hard to imagine this issue will remain in doubt for much longer." This shift in opinion is notable because of Republican plans to take up defense of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) after President Obama ordered the Justice Department to cease doing so on the grounds that he believed the law to be unconstitutional. Even though the Republican party - which largely opposes same-sex marriage - is on the ascendancy in statehouses throughout the country, pollsters say that the public often reacts to these kinds of political shifts by backing issues of the party that appears to be losing influence as a way of balancing the power. For instance, support for abortion dropped from 55 percent to 47 percent in the first year of Obama's term with some believing this was due to worries that he might move to fast in liberalizing abortion rights. But now that the Republicans seized control of the House and increased their influence in the Senate, support for abortion rights have returned to 54, according to this poll. Looking ahead, Albert Mohler, president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, told Focus on the Family's Jim Daly last week that "it's clear that something like same-sex marriage -- indeed, almost exactly what we would envision by that -- is going to become normalized, legalized, and recognized in the culture." He added: "It's time for Christians to start thinking about how we're going to deal with that." © All Rights Reserved, Living His Life Abundantly®/Women of Grace®




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