Same Sex Marriage And Public Opinion Essay

3087 words - 12 pages

“[Same-sex marriage legalization] would be a foolish and tragic choice,” the statement made by Peter Sprigg in 2012, still does echo some Americans feelings about same-sex marriage. Although there is some truth to his statement, the tide is turning in favor of legalization of same-sex marriage. As public opinion polls show, Americans are beginning to accept the idea of same-sex marriage more and more than they have been in the past. Their opinions rely on a variety of differing things, the majority does claim to the belief of religious marriage. The trends show that more and more citizens, across vastly different groups, are beginning to favor the legalization of same-sex marriage. In addition, the soon-to-be the 16th state to allow same-sex marriage Hawaii, as well as the 15 other states that already allow it, the overall opinion is changing. This means that Sprigg’s opinion will soon be the minority rather than the majority.
If you look back at just four years ago in 2009, the landscape of American opinion has changed, and if you go back even further, the distaste for same-sex couples is even more prevalent. According to Jones (2009) in a Gallup/USA Today poll, in 2009, 57% of citizens still felt that same-sex marriages should not be held to the same standard as traditional marriages. That number was not too different as the 2004 poll that said 55% felt the same way. If you take these numbers and combine it with the Pew Research numbers from 2004 you can see why people opposed same-sex marriage. 63% of men and 57% of women opposed allowing same-sex couples to marry. Even in 2009, there was a clear divide in beliefs about same-sex marriage on party lines. These numbers were slim as evident in the Gallup poll. The poll shows that only 55% of Democrats approve of same-sex marriage, which is far different than the Democratic views that are the norm in 2013. To show even more evidence about society in the 2000’s, the question was posed if same-sex marriage would change the society, and 48% of respondents believed it would make our society worse in 2003 and 2009, six years a part. While marriage had minimal support in 2009, other rights for same-sex couples had broad support. Jones (2009) states that 67% believe that partners should receive insurance and employee benefits, 73% believe they should have inheritance rights, and 67% believe that hate-crime laws should include gays and lesbians.
The question would be why did so many people not support same-sex marriage. Many people will point to religious reasons as their citation for not agreeing with marriage not defined between a man and woman. The moral implications of same-sex marriage are the guiding principle for many people. Saad (2008) with the Gallup poll in 2008, and the country was evenly split on the morality of homosexual relations, at 48% each. Homosexual relations on the morality issue only ranked more moral than abortion, suicide, cloning animals, polygamy and affairs. The Pew research...

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