Poll: Americans say there’s no turning back on gay marriage

Apr 24, 2015

Photo by Adelle M. Banks

By Susan Page

The Supreme Court will hear arguments next week in a landmark case on gay marriage, but most Americans already have made up their minds: There’s no turning back.

In a nationwide USA Today/Suffolk University Poll, those surveyed say by 51 percent-35 percent that it’s no longer practical for the Supreme Court to ban same-sex marriages because so many states have legalized them.

One reason for a transformation in public views on the issue: Close to half say they have a gay or lesbian family member or close friend who is married to someone of the same sex.

Kraig Ziegler, 58, of Flagstaff, Ariz., acknowledged being a bit uncomfortable when he attended a wedding reception for two men, friends of his wife, who had married. “I still believe what the Bible says, ‘one man, one woman,’ ” the mechanic, who was among those polled, said in a follow-up interview.

On the other hand, he said, “I got to know the guys, and they’re all right. They don’t make passes or anything at me.”

Now he calls himself undecided on the issue.

In the survey, a majority, 51 percent-35 percent, favor allowing gay men and lesbians to marry, and those who support the idea feel more strongly about it than those who oppose it: 28 percent “strongly favor” same-sex marriage, 18 percent “strongly oppose” it. Fourteen percent are undecided.

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12 comments on “Poll: Americans say there’s no turning back on gay marriage

  • I see the Northern Ireland Health Minister has been having one of those “bigoted foot-in-mouth” moments.


    Comments made by Northern Ireland Health Minister Jim Wells linking child abuse with gay relationships have been rejected by a child protection body set up by his own department.

    The Safeguarding Board for Northern Ireland (SBNI) is a co-ordinating body that promotes the welfare of children and young people.

    Independent chair Glenys Johnston said: “There is no evidence that children who are brought up by same sex couples are any more at risk of abuse than those brought up by heterosexual couples.”

    *Mr Wells, the DUP South Down candidate in the 7 May election, told an election hustings discussion on gay marriage: “You don’t bring a child up in a homosexual relationship. That a child is far more likely to be abused and neglected….”

    In a later statement, he said: “I accept that one line of what I said caused offence and deep concern.”

    Mr Wells added: “I regret having wrongly made that remark about abuse and I’m sorry those words were uttered. The comment did not reflect my view nor that of my party.”

    His comments during the election debate have also been disputed by a leading academic.

    Prof Susan Golombok of the University of Cambridge’s Centre for Family Research told BBC Radio Ulster’s Talkback programme: “The minister has got his facts wrong because the evidence points to completely the opposite conclusion.

    “More than 35 years of research on the well-being of children with lesbian mothers, and more recently with gay fathers, have shown that these children do just as well with children with traditional families.”

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  • Christians make no sense. They say “gays cannot have marriage because they are too promiscuous” But is not marriage the best mechanism anyone ever came up with to discourage promiscuity?

    If gays have to hide in the closet, and not live with a partner, are they not MORE likely to have sex with strangers?

    Christian objection simply amounts to wanting to punish gays for being gay.

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  • Until about a thousand years ago, marriage was a civil matter in much of Europe. it was only when the churches became involved and sought a monopoly and power over the succession of aristocrat rulers inheriting lordships and kingdoms, that the modern church wedding evolved.

    There were also various other historical forms of non-religious marriage.

    During the 11th Century, marriage was about securing an economic or political advantage. The wishes of the married couple – much less their consent – were of little importance. The bride, particularly, was assumed to bow to her father’s wishes and the marriage arrangements made on her behalf.

    However, for the Benedictine monk Gratian the consent of the couple mattered more than their family’s approval. Gratian brought consent into the fold of formalised marriage in 1140 with his canon law textbook, Decretum Gratiani.

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  • Yes and the bible clearly states that gay people are to be put to death. Jesus affirmed this by saying that he did not come to abolish the law (the Old Testament).

    But have you noticed that your Christian friends or family aren’t out there killing gay people, like they are instructed to?

    No. And that’s what’s so screwed up about this religion. You can disobey god and jesus when an instruction doesn’t suit you, and just discriminate in other ways.

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  • It’s a typical way of thinking from homophobes. They tend to think that all gays are attracted to them.

    In this situation, I would point out that the odds of a just-married gay guy making a pass at them are probably the same as a just-married straight woman. That would probably make him pause and think.

    That said, he did say “I got to know the guys, and they’re all right”. There’s a good amount of hope there.

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  • I must admit that like Obama my thinking on the issue has ‘evolved.” Raised in the 50s, I was conditioned to think of gays as freaks deserving every comic, mocking and vicious stereotype the dominant culture threw at them. As I began to mature around the mid sixties and came to know gays personally my prejudices quickly eroded.

    The cultural revolution played no small role in the transformation. Civil rights, the anti-war movement, women’s liberation and the sexual revolution brought new perspectives and inclusiveness. Still many voices in the emerging gay rights movement literally “came out” against straight sexual constraints on relationships, notably the institution of marriage -a kind of sexual “straight” jacket if I may be permitted a pun. When the gay marriage movement came on the scene, I felt ambivalent wondering if the gay lifestyle celebrating multiple sexual partners was a good match. A few more decades of education did the trick. Gays and straights occupy the same spectrum of sexual desire, love and commitment. Logically, empirically marriage should be available as a human right, a civil right to all. Why fight something that is so naturally right in civil secular society of the 21st century?

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  • 10
    ad nauseam says:

    It’s a typical way of thinking from homophobes. They tend to think that all gays are attracted to them.

    While people may accept gays it doesn’t mean they will stop being uncomfortable around them. Not sure why that is necessarily a bad thing. Also I don’t see why it makes someone a homophobe for not liking the idea of gay sex while straight either.

    I’m sure there are gays who think straight sex is disgusting as well…

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  • ad nauseam
    May 4, 2015 at 5:23 pm

    While people may accept gays it doesn’t mean they will stop being uncomfortable around them.

    I think that both ways over, it’s part of the religious phobia and guilt complex, built around sex in general!

    A whole range of religious nuttery and indoctrinated bigotry, is about interfering in other people’s sex lives. (monopoly of church marriage, circumcisions, opposition to: – divorce, abortion, contraception, stem cells etc)

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  • 12
    ad nauseam says:

    I think that both ways over, it’s part of the religious phobia and guilt complex, built around sex in general!

    I don’t think sexual preference is related to sexual guilt in this case.

    It’s like saying people think broccoli tastes gross because society tells them it does. It may be true for some, but others REALLY can’t stand the taste of broccoli.

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