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Poll: Americans Leaning More Liberal, But Only On Some Issues

13225131_lGallup’s latest Values and Beliefs poll reveals that Americans are becoming more liberal on certain moral issues, such as birth control and sex outside marriage, but are still conservative when it comes to issues such as abortion, pornography, cloning and adultery.

CNSNews.com is reporting on the poll, released earlier this month, which found that American views on a variety of social issues have become more liberal than ever before, but only in certain areas.

"Americans continue to express an increasingly liberal outlook on what is morally acceptable, as their views on 10 of 19 moral issues that Gallup measures are the most left-leaning or permissive they have been to date," reported Gallup.

"On an absolute basis, Americans are most likely to view birth control, divorce and sex between unmarried people as morally acceptable," said the polling firm. "At least two-thirds say each of these is OK."

On the other hand, they are least likely to believe suicide, polygamy, cloning humans and extramarital affairs are permissible.

“Fewer than one in five say these practices are morally acceptable," said Gallup.

On abortion, only 43 percent of Americans say it is "morally acceptable"; 49 percent say it is "morally wrong." These views have barely changed since 2001 when 42 percent found it morally acceptable.

One of the more startling findings is on the subject of polygamy which rose from seven percent in 2003 who found it “morally acceptable” to 17 percent today.

Another big jump was on the issue of having a child outside marriage which moved from 45 percent saying it was “morally acceptable” in 2002 to 62 percent finding it so today.

Homosexual relations are also much more acceptable now than they were in 2001 when only 40 percent of Americans found this acceptable. Today, that number is at 63 percent.

The following is a list of how some of the “morally acceptable” issues scored:

Birth control, 91% morally acceptable Divorce, 73% Sex between an unmarried man and woman, 69% Gay or lesbian relations, 63% Having a baby outside of marriage, 62% Human embryo stem cell research, 61% Doctor-assisted suicide, 57% Abortion, 43% Sex between teenagers, 36% Pornography, 36% Cloning animals, 32% Suicide, 18% Polygamy, 17% Cloning humans, 14% Extramarital affairs, 9%

In summary, Gallup says American are more permissive on matters of morality than at the beginning of the 21st century with opinions continuing to shift in a slightly more left-leaning direction.

“Some of this change reflects increased social tolerance, while some is attributable to generational changes,” Gallup said. "It would appear that U.S. opinions will continue on this path, as younger, more liberal generations replace older, more conservative ones in the U.S. population. Currently, about as many Americans say they are socially liberal as say they are socially conservative; in the past, conservatives outnumbered liberals by a significant margin."

Curiously, Gallup also found that 81 percent of the public believe the state of moral values in the U.S. is "only fair" or "poor" - with liberals, who should be pleased with the growing number of Americans who agree with their positions, being more likely to say things are getting worse rather than better. 

Catholic League president Bill Donohue commented on this obvious inconsistency.

"Americans are increasingly non-judgmental about sexual relations between consenting adults, but they are not happy with the state of moral values. This paradox suggests that more Americans are morally challenged than ever before," Donohue writes.

This moral confusion among the liberal population indicates that while they promote their "tolerant" views on sexuality, they are nonetheless unhappy with the state of morality in the U.S.

"They want to have it both ways—more liberal attitudes on sexuality and less moral problems—but they cannot," Donohue concludes.

"Not until they connect the dots and realize that the attitudes which they promote engender the behaviors that they deplore, will progress be made."

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