A Gallup poll released Wednesday finds that a solid majority of Americans don't support legalizing it.
Americans' views on same-sex marriage have essentially stayed the same in the past year, with a majority of 57% opposed to granting such marriages legal status and 40% in favor of doing so. Though support for legal same-sex marriage is significantly higher now than when Gallup first asked about it in 1996, in recent years support has appeared to stall, peaking at 46% in 2007.They point to stronger support among younger Americans while older Americans don't.
Younger Americans have typically been much more supportive of same-sex marriage than older Americans, and that is the case in the current poll. A majority of 18- to 29-year-olds think gay or lesbian couples should be allowed to legally marry, while support reaches only as high as 40% among the three older age groups.
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Some argue this is evidence that it's only a matter of time before broader society accepts it. I don't think that's the case. Marriage is a profoundly moral issue which I believe, people intuitively believe is between a man and a woman and homosexual behavior isn't normal. I think as the public debate continues and the facts get discussed regarding the nature and benefits of marriage and the problems associated with homosexual behavior, the public support for homosexuality and homosexual marriage will diminish in the minds of young people. We're already seeing that happen with the abortion issue where young people are becoming more conservative than their parents. I think the same thing can happen on the marriage issue.
And of course, the moral relativism which inundates our cultural thinking will also have to be addressed. The notion that I can be personally opposed to homosexual marriage but embrace it for society just doesn't hold up. Marriage is a moral, law of nature which can't and shouldn't be relativized. It's like saying I'm personally opposed to rape, murder, lying or stealing but I wouldn't want to impose my views on the rest of society. In the final analysis, it doesn't make sense.
Another thing to note in the polling is the intensity level of proponents and opponents. 48% of all people say legalizing homosexual marriage will change society for the worse. More than three and a half times those 13% who say it will make society better.
A separate question in the poll found close to half of Americans, 48%, saying that allowing legal same-sex marriages would change society for the worse. That is more than three times the 13% who believe legal gay marriage would change society for the better. The remaining 38% say it would have no effect on society or do not have an opinion on the matter.
These results are essentially unchanged from a Gallup Poll conducted six years ago.
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