Poll: Should Legislators Remove Language in Montana Law That States Homosexuality is a Crime?

The answer, of course, is “yes”. Vote here.

WA & MN Bishops: Fighting A Losing Battle?

From New Ways Ministry Blog:

Despite the fact that the bishops of Washington State have recently issued apastoral letter against Referendum 74 which would legalize marriage equality in that state, polls are indicating that voters are not heeding that message.

According to a Seattle Post-Intelligencer blog:

“Referendum 74, legalizing marriage equality, is leading 56-38 percent in the latest SurveyUSA poll of Washington voters for King-5 News, after being up by a narrower 50-43 percent margin six weeks ago.”

The polling is not as optimistic in Minnesota, which has a constitutional amendment to ban same-gender marriage on the ballot:

“. . .results of a new Public Policy Polling survey show a dead heat:  48 percent support, and 47 percent oppose a state constitutional amendment that would define “marriage” as exclusively between a man and a woman.”

The blog post cites Archbishop John Nienstedt of the Archdiocese of St. Paul as the strongest opponent of marriage equality in Minnesota.  Catholic institutions have donated $1 million to the campaign to defeat marriage equality.

As we’ve reported before, Nienstedt has forbidden the priests of his archdiocese to publicly express any dissent on this matter.  But that has not seemed to stop some priests from staging a passive protest against the archbishop’s campaign.  When Nienstedt issued a letter against marriage equality this month, 17 parishes, including the Basilica of St. Mary, refused to read the letter at Mass.

 

Read the rest here.

Surging US Catholic Support For Marriage Equality

By Terence Weldon, Queering The Church

Marriage Equality USA logo

Marriage Equality USA logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

New research by the Pew Forum on religion and public life has confirmed once again that the tide of opinion is moving inexorably in favour of gay marriage. In 2oo4, supporters were outnumbered by opponents, by almost two to one (30% to 61%), but supporters now outnumber opponents, by 48% to 44%.  The age split confirms that support will continue to grow: the only groups still opposed are those over 50, and the youngest is in favour by 63% to 32%.  All this is familiar.

What is new in this poll, is its focus on the impact of President Obama’s declared support last May for the principle of marriage equality. Overall, Pew reports that there has been very little change in support since before the announcement – but that it has strengthened support in his Democratic base, and hardened opposition among his Republican opponents. This shift among Democratic voters (especially liberal Democrats) could have a beneficial impact on the gay marriage ballots this November in the Democratic and Democratic leaning states of Maine, Maryland, Washington and Minnesota, and has been widely reported on in the major news media (see for instance,Huffington PostSF Gate at the San Francisco Chronicle, or Seattle Post PI).

The strength of the Pew Forum research organization, as its name implies, is in its focus on religion and religious attitudes, and the extensive historical database of strictly comparable results, which is what I want to focus on here.

Catholics strongly support gay marriage.

First, note that Catholic overwhelmingly support gay marriage, by 58% to 33% – a margin of 25%, and identical for both White and Hispanic Catholic groups. This degree of support is greater than that shown by any other Christian grouping (Jews and other faiths are not identified), it is substantially higher than that for the population as a whole).

This degree of support by Catholics, exceeding that for other groups, has now been well – established in numerous polls. It has also been previously noted that the growth in Catholic support has exceeded that in other groups. Just how dramatic that growth has been, can be seen by comparing the latest results with those from August / September 2010.  Then, Catholic support for gay marriage was at 46% –  a plurality over opposition of just 4%. That plurality has now grown from 4% to 25%, in less than two years.

 Read the rest here.

CNN: Majority Of Americans Support Marriage Equality, Have Gay Friends/Family Members

From LGBTQNation:

A majority of Americans say they support legal recognition of same-sex marriage amid growing evidence that the public has become more comfortable with gays and lesbians, according to a new CNN/ORC International survey released Wednesday.

According to the survey, 54 percent of respondents now say that marriages between gay and lesbian couples should be legal, with only 42 percent opposed.

The results also indicated that the number of Americans who say they have a close friend or family member who is gay jumped from 49 percent in 2010 to 60 percent today, the first time in CNN polling that a majority of Americans have said that.

Looks like coming out is having the positive effects Harvey Milk predicted.

Full story here.

NYT/CBS Poll: Catholic Religious Leaders Out Of Touch

Today’s poll on President Obama and the economy also gauged voter’s take on two key religious “hot buttons”- and it turns out they’re not so hot:

Mosaic cross ~Lobby of New West Catholic gym

Mosaic cross ~Lobby of New West Catholic gym (Photo credit: laudu)

Despite the deep divide between some religious leaders and government officials over contraceptives, the latest New York Times/CBS News poll found most voters support the new federal directive that health insurance plans provide coverage for birth control.

In addition, most voters said they favored some type of legal recognition for same-sex couples, at a time when the New Jersey Legislature is set to vote on gay marriage and after a federal appellate court ruled that Proposition 8’s ban on same-sex marriage in California was unconstitutional.

A majority of Catholic voters in the poll were at odds with the church’s official stance, agreeing with most other voters that religiously affiliated employers should offer health insurance that provides contraception. Jennifer Davison, 38, a Catholic from Lomita, Calif., agrees with the federal requirement. “My opinion is that it is a personal issue rather than a religious issue,” she said in a follow-up interview.

Unlike Catholics, white evangelical Christian voters were more divided, with half objecting to requiring the health insurance plans of religious employers to cover contraceptives; 43 percent supported it. “It is a religious issue with me,” said Jessica Isner, 22, an evangelical Christian from Elkins, W. Va. “I believe that providing birth control is O.K. if the hospital is not religiously affiliated.”

Gay marriage is another debate in which the Catholic laity disagrees with church doctrine. More than two-thirds of Catholic voters supported some sort of legal recognition of gay couples’ relationships: 44 percent favored marriage, and 25 percent preferred civil unions. Twenty-four percent said gay couples should receive no legal recognition.

Click here for graphic of full poll results

TWO THIRDS. This is bearing out that the sensus fidelium (the sense of the faithful) is much more “common” (read ‘in touch’) than that of the magisterium. And the gap of common sense just seems to be getting wider….

 Read the complete NYT story here

A Tale Of Two Polls

…from The Montana Democrats:

The red "GOP" logo used by the party...

Image via Wikipedia

Dennis Rehberg’s supporters tonight are pushing a new GOP poll about Montana’s 2012 Senate race.  But a second poll released today—conducted by the same GOP polling firm—tells a much different story.

The first poll, conducted by the firm Public Opinion Strategies for Karl Rove’s secretive organization American Crossroads, shows questionable and uncharacteristic results for the race between Jon Tester and Congressman Dennis Rehberg.

The second poll released today, also conducted by Public Opinion Strategies, has much different results.  It shows the race much closer—well within the margin of error.

“Montanans don’t trust Crossroads or Dennis Rehberg, so why would they believe numbers from a firm that can’t even decide which numbers are accurate,” said Ted Dick, executive director of the Montana Democratic Party.  “Congressman Rehberg believes secrecy and unlimited corporate spending belong in Montana’s elections, and he and his allies will stop at nothing to try to influence the people of our state.”

Fascinating.

Rehberg’s (allegedly) Poor Polling Numbers

 Cowgirl has them:

Tester’s job approval is 50-26 whereas Dennis Rehberg’s is 41-34. There is a large swath of voters who say they have not decided. Strangely, Obama, in this same poll, is at 42-48, numbers that comport with polls we’ve seen in the press the last year or so. But it means that while Obama’s negatives are high in Montana (predictably so), his positive job approval is higher is than Rehberg’s. This is somewhat surprising. (emphasis mine)

I have never figured out what Montanans see in Rehberg- he’s not a leader, he’s never out in front of an issue- the exact opposite of Tester. Cowgirl again:

Rehberg doesn’t seem to really do anything in his job. He provides nothing beyond criticism of democrats in the form of regurgitated FoxNews talking points, whereas Tester is visibly active, always, and active on issues that resonate within important sectors of the electorate.

Exactly. Full story here.