Alex Blaze

About half of America supports same-sex marriage

Filed By Alex Blaze | August 12, 2010 3:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Marriage Equality, The Movement

I'm surprised that the numbers were this high, but here's what CNN found:

37. Do you think gays and lesbians have a constitutional right to get married and have their marriage recognized by law as valid? (ASKED OF HALF SAMPLE. RESULTS BASED ON 513 INTERVIEWS IN VERSION A -- SAMPLING ERROR: +/-4.5 PERCENTAGE POINTS.)

Aug. 6-10, 2010May 14-17, 2009
No opinion*1%

37A. Do you think gays and lesbians should have a constitutional right to get married and have their marriage recognized by law as valid? (ASKED OF HALF SAMPLE. RESULTS BASED ON 496 INTERVIEWS IN VERSION B -- SAMPLING ERROR: +/-4.5 PERCENTAGE POINTS.)

Aug. 6-10, 2010
No opinion2%

The numbers in 2009 were generally in the low-40's and we're living in some fast times now so they'll probably keep on going in the same direction.

Here's a bit more on the demographic break-down:

The gap widens dramatically when age is taken into account. Nearly six in ten Americans under the age of 50 say gay rights are protected under the Constitution. Only 38 percent of Americans over the age of 50 say the same thing.

"This is one of the few instances when independents side with one party rather than falling in between the Dems and the GOP," CNN Polling Director Keating Holland said. "56 percent of Democrats and 57 percent of Independents think the Constitution conveys the right to marry to same-sex couples. Only a quarter of all Republicans agree."

More troubling, though, is that the same poll found 49% of Americans want a Constitutional Amendment to stop making everyone born in America a citizen. People aren't becoming more open, generally, but they are caring less about the standard moral majority issues and caring more about finding someone to blame for the economy falling apart. Too bad they're just going to blame people of color instead of the real culprits.

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The headline seems to be a bit off: the way I read the statistics, 52% of Americans support same-sex marriage. The 49% think your constitution does, too. Of course, both numbers are within the margin of error of the mid-way point, but it looks promising.

I agree with Ana. I think 49% think our Constitution already provides for gay marriage rights. And 52% think our Constitution should provide for gay marriage rights. Both would suggest to me that it's the "will of the people."

Thanks for catching that, you two. I updated the title.

The difference between the question of whether gays "have" a constitutional right and whether they "should have" one is interesting. I suspect that some people interpret this through their naive belief that the law "exists" like a rock exists. They would then see this question as asking whether the Constitution contains the words "gay marriage." A question could ask "do you believe that the Supreme Court should rule that there is a constitutional right..."

I doubt that, since the numbers were so similar on both questions. People see what they want to see.

Finally some good news for a change!

The results are even better when the question is about "equality."

The first questions asked should be "Do you think?" "Not often."

"Do you know anything about constitutional rights?" "Not really."

As I indicated earlier, I am not thrilled with the results of the poll.