A Washington Post/ABC News poll finds 50% of Americans overall approve of the New York same-sex marriage law, while 46% disapprove. The poll was taken two weeks ago but released today, almost a full week after the law came into effect and after Americans were flooded with news and photos earlier this week.
The poll is closely in keeping with six other major polls which, over the past year, find a majority of Americans believe same-sex marriage should be legal.
“Reactions to the new legislation — like support for legalizing gay marriage in general — range tremendously across generational, political and religious lines,” writes Scott Clement in The Washington Post today.
“Americans have grown increasingly accepting of same-sex marriage over the past decade, according to surveys by The Post and ABC, Gallup, the Pew Research Center and others. The public opposed legalizing gay and lesbian unions by a 58 to 36 percent margin in 2006, but the new Post-ABC poll finds a slight majority — 51 percent — saying such marriages should be legal.”
(Note: the discrepancy appears to be between same-sex marriage overall, and the question related to New York, “the New York gay marriage law is a positive or negative outcome?”)
“The age gap is one of the brightest dividing lines on gay marriage and on the New York law in particular. Adults under age 30 welcome the new law by a roughly 2 to 1 margin. But six in 10 seniors give it a negative assessment, compared with one in three who take a positive view.”
“Among African Americans, another loyal segment of the Democratic party coalition, more than six in 10 say the law is a negative development, while roughly one in three see it positively.
“Republicans broadly reject the law by a 2 to 1 margin, but alignment with the tea party movement complicates political calculations concerning the issue. More than seven in 10 Republicans who support the tea party movement view the New York law as a negative development. But that slides to just 45 percent of non-tea party Republicans who reject the law, while half react positively.”
“Beyond the political divisions over the New York law, religious differences cut just as sharply among white Protestants. More than seven in 10 white evangelical Protestants call the new law a negative development, but white non-evangelical Protestants take the opposite view by a 63 to 34 percent margin.
“Catholics overall are more closely aligned with mainline Protestants in their views of the gay marriage law — 58 percent see it as a positive development. Religious observance plays a role, too. Catholics who attend Mass weekly split evenly, 48 to 48 percent, on the law, but less observant Catholics welcome it by a more than a 2 to 1 margin, 66 to 31 percent.”
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