John M. Becker

New Poll: GOP Warming Up to Gay Candidates, Hostile Towards Gays

Filed By John M. Becker | August 19, 2014 4:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Politics
Tags: coming out, evolve already, gay marriage, GOP, GOP 2014, marriage equality, Republican Party, same-sex marriage

survey.jpgA new McClatchy/Marist College poll released Friday reveals that while Republicans are warming up to gay political candidates, they're still decidedly cool towards gay people overall -- particularly within their own families.

The Washington Post reports:

A new poll from McClatchy and Marist College shows that 68 percent of Republicans say they would be no less likely to support a well-qualified gay candidate, and 59 percent say they prefer that states decide same-sex marriage rather than the federal government -- a stance that effectively is allowing such unions to take hold across the country.

At the same time, a strong majority of Republicans still personally oppose same-sex marriage (63 percent), and a similar proportion remains concerned about these issues directly affecting their family. In fact, six in 10 say they would be upset if one of their children were gay. Thirty-seven percent say they would be upset if their child told them that he or she was gay, while 23 percent say they would be "very upset." One-quarter of Republicans say they would not be upset at all.

To recap, two-thirds of Republicans say a gay candidate's sexuality doesn't make them less apt to support them, but 60 percent say they would be upset if they had a gay child.

Just three in 10 independents and Democrats say they'd be upset to learn that their child is gay.

The Post's Aaron Blake notes that these numbers have dropped significantly over the past 30 years or so: a 1985 Los Angeles Times poll asking the same question found that 89 percent of Americans overall would have been upset if their child came out, and 64 percent would be "very upset." Today, those numbers are just 35 percent and 12 percent, respectively.

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