The answer, of course, is “yes”. Vote here.
The answer, of course, is “yes”. Vote here.
The answer, of course, is “yes”. Vote here.
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.
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 Post, SF 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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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….
…from The Montana Democrats:
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.”
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.
The results showed that 53% of Australians who identify as Christians support same-sex marriage, while 41% oppose. 67% of non-Christians support it.
Australian Marriage Equality spokesperson, Malcolm McPherson, himself a Christian, said the poll shows church leaders and Christian lobbyists who oppose same-sex marriage are not representative of the feelings of most Australians on the subject of same-sex marriage as evidenced by the poll’s results.
The Galaxy poll found overall support for allowing same-sex marriage to 60%, which is unchanged from an identical poll conducted by Galaxy in October last year (the result of the October poll was 62%, which is within the margin of error of +/- 2%).
However, there has been a marked shift in how strongly views on the issue are held. Since October last year 5% of supporters of equality have shifted from “agree” to “strongly agree”, with a similar shift among opponents of reform from “strongly disagree” to “disagree”.
Religious leaders who have given their support to the campaign for marriage equality come from Uniting, Anglican and Baptist churches across Australia, and include Sydney minister and 2GB radio host, Reverend Bill Crews who said in an interview:
Today in Australia we all live in a secular non discriminatory society. Churches and other spiritual institutions exist within this society. It seems to me that in a secular and non-discriminatory society gay couples should be as free to marry as any other human couple. If people wish to be married within a religious or spiritual institution’s framework then they should accept the rites and rules of that institution. However it is the state that legitimises all marriages.
A Melbourne Baptist pastor, Matt Glover, said allowing same-sex marriages will benefit marriage as an institution:
When a couple want to be part of the institution of marriage, when they fully accept the same rights and responsibilities of marriage and treat marriage with the respect it deserves, why should they NOT get married? As a Christian minister, I believe that marriage is under threat from many angles, but also believe that recognizing same-sex unions will help return marriage to its rightful place in society.
An Anglican parish priest in Sydney, Rector David Smith was blunt in his assessment:
From a Christian point of view, marriage is an institution designed to serve two social needs:
1) contribute broadly to social stability
2)provide a stable environment for the nurturing of children.
If this is the case then the only questions Christians need to concern themselves with when it comes to the issue of gay marriage are these two:
1) Would gay marriage lead to greater social stability?
2) Would a married gay partnership be likely to provide a more secure environment for the nurturing of the children of a gay couple than an unmarried one?
I think the answer to both these questions has to be ‘yes’.
Buoyed by the poll results, Australian Marriage Equality has launched a Christians 4 Equality letter-writing campaign which has the endorsement of a wide range of Christian leaders and has already seen almost 10,000 letters sent to MPs from Australian Christians since the site went live last Friday afternoon.
The PinkNews UK reported that during a rally held yesterday in Canberra, the so-called ‘National Day for Marriage’ rally, an American anti-gay activist told the audience during her speech that gay marriage would lead to paedophiles marrying children. Rebecca Hagelin, a columnist for the right wing tabloid World Net Daily, also added that there is “no greater evil” than gay marriage supporters and that Christians are in a “war for the future of the human race”.
Australian Marriage Equality’s McPherson responded telling the PinkNews:
Christian groups that oppose marriage equality like the Australian Christian Lobby are entitled to their view, but they do not represent the majority of Australian Christians.
Clearly, most Australian Christians believe same-sex marriage is consistent with Christian values like justice, love, compassion and fidelity, not opposed to these values.
I mentioned this in passing yesterday, but a newly released poll shows that a majority of voters in Montana support domestic partnerships for same-sex couples. That poll, conducted by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research for the American Civil Liberties Union, found that 53 percent of Montana voters favor allowing gay and lesbian couples to enter into domestic partnerships.
“Support of same-sex domestic partnerships is growing, and now we can quantify what our day-to-day interactions with people are telling us,” said ACLU of Montana LGBT Advocacy Coordinator Ninia Baehr. “It’s heartening to know that people understand that every loving and committed couple who pays taxes in our state deserves fairness.”
The change in attitude mirrors an increase in the number of same-sex couples in Montana reporting their households to the U.S. Census Bureau. Recently released numbers show 2,295 same-sex households in the 2010 Census – a 54 percent jump since 2000.
Key Highlights of 2011 Polling
People understand that the lack of legal recognition of same-sex relationships leaves couples extremely vulnerable. In Montana examples of unfairness toward same-sex couples include a woman who was denied bereavement leave when her partner’s father died, and another woman who lost her home because she was ineligible for worker’s compensation death benefits when her partner was killed in an accident.
“Same-sex couples have told us time and again that they are meeting more and more people who sympathize with their plight,” said Baehr. “This polling reinforces the growing support those couples have been experiencing.”
While it’s not exactly marriage, I’ll take it. For now.
This shows the evolution of the Montana voter’s attitude is in favor of eventual, full equality-and this change in attitude has a cause. This is happening because more of us are simply visible as co-workers, neighbors, children, siblings and friends. We are not a threat, we’re just people.
I’m particularly impressed with the Catholics- and not surprised, really. This is about social justice for us- not particularly about morality. Even though the hierarchy is deeply out of touch on this issue, this is a reminder that the sense of the people in the pews is leading the church here. My mother would have agreed- I know the rest of my Catholic family does.
In the eyes of Montanans, “The Gays” are slowly changing from scary bogeymen into recognizable human beings. Never underestimate the power unleashed by broken closet doors….