A national poll
released Thursday shows that despite media coverage
focused on the nation's polarization, most Americans' views
on gay rights issues are actually somewhere in the
middle. The poll, conducted by the nonpartisan Pew
Research Center, was intended to shed some light on what
the center called "talk of 'culture wars'--and the
high visibility of activist groups on both sides of
the cultural divide."
The poll studied
Americans' views on the most divisive issues of the day:
stem cell research, abortion, and gay rights. And while
voters did lean liberally on the stem cell issue and
hovered around the middle on abortion, the poll found
that 56% of respondents oppose same-sex marriage and
52% oppose adoption rights for gays.
interestingly, almost the same number--54%--said
they are in favor of the idea of civil unions. The
poll also found no consensus among either supporters
or opponents over how far to go to press their positions.
Just a slight majority of same-sex marriage opponents
actually favor amending the U.S. Constitution to ban
it. Similarly, only 51% of those who favor equal
marriage rights say supporters should "push hard" to make
it legal as soon as possible, with almost 4 in
10 urging caution to avoid animosity.
All of the poll
numbers were relatively consistent with polls taken
recent years--except in the area of the nature of
homosexuality. In 2003, 42% of respondents
said that they felt homosexuality cannot be
changed. Just three years later, that number has climbed a
full seven points to 49%. (Sirius/OutQ News)
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