Rights And Wrongs

By Zandar
Tuesday, May 8, 2012 13:34 EDT
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I’ve talked about this before at ABLC and whenever I bring up the myth that African-Americans and Latinos are against gay marriage more than white voters are, it turns out that it just isn’t true.  I explain why it’s garbage, I explain that the forces of inequality are trying to split the liberal coalition apart along these false “fault lines” on purpose, and I still catch static from the assembled.

So here’s yet another data point in favor as North Carolina tries to do the right thing on LGBT equality today.  The latest Gallup national poll on same-sex marriage finds the country evenly split on the issue, and those even splits persist across racial groups.

Gay marriage is in the news, as the White House scrambles to explain President Obama’s “evolving” position on the issue even as other members of the administration — notably Vice President Joe Biden — find their personal evolutions progressing more rapidly. Obama’s caution on the issue is widely assumed to be not a matter of personal conviction but one of political calculation. So where are the American people on the issue?

The answer, according to a new Gallup poll: sharply divided. The survey finds 50 percent say gay marriage should be legal and valid, compared to 48 percent who said it should not.

That’s a slight, statistically insignificant downtick from the last time Gallup polled — last year, 53 percent of Americans favored gay marriage. But the long-term trend has support for gay marriage gradually climbing and opposition gradually waning. It was just last year that the trend lines crossed for the first time, and support for gay marriage outperformed opposition. Clearly, both socially and politically, this is an issue in rapid transition in terms of public opinion.

A look at the breakdowns across subgroups in the poll, which Gallup provided to me, is also revealing: Support for gay marriage is strongest among women, college graduates, the nonreligious, and the young. Democrats overwhelmingly support legal gay marriage, but not as overwhelmingly as Republicans oppose it; independents are also strongly in favor. And there is no real difference between whites and nonwhites in their views on the issue.

Indeed, Gallup’s poll finds whites split dead even on the matter, 49-49%.  Non-whites polled were actually slightly in favor, 50-48%.  I’ve said before that this myth is being used to divide and weaken liberals in an election year, and I’m posting this to make a point:  the one demographic difference that Gallup has found again and again is age, not race.  the younger you are, the more accepting overall of same-sex marriage.  Likewise, Democrats are for it (by 31 points), Independents are for it (by 17 points), but Republicans are so adamantly against it (52 point lead for no) that it’s throwing the entire country off balance.

You want somebody to blame for why LGBT equality doesn’t exist at the ballot box?  Blame a Republican.

Zandar is ABLC's Cincinnati-area correspondent, covering Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana politics and all the nearly endless unintentional comedy the Tri-State area brings. He's proprietor of Zandar vs. The Stupid, where he's been blogging since 2008, and you can also find him at Balloon Juice and The Reaction as a contributor, or you can yell at him on Twitter at @ZandarVTS.
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