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Friday Speed Read: Montana, Gallup on Marriage, Scott Peters, Pocatello, Porterville

BY LISA KEEN / Keen News Service

Ben_ChaseLAWSUIT COMES TO MONTANA:

The ACLU on Thursday filed a lawsuit in federal court in Montana, challenging that state’s ban on same-sex couples marrying. That leaves only two states (North and South Dakotas) that don’t have a federal lawsuit pending against their state ban. In the Montana suit, Rolando v. Fox, three of the four plaintiff couples have obtained marriage licenses in other states. Democratic Governor Steve Bullock issued a statement Thursday, saying, “The time has come for our state to recognize and celebrate – not discriminate against – two people who love one another, are committed to each other, and want to spend their lives together.”

SUPPORT FOR MARRIAGE ‘SOLIDIFIED’:

GallupA new Gallup poll, released Wednesday, says that support for allowing same-sex couples to marry has “solidified above the majority level.” The poll of 1,028 adults nationwide between May 8 and 11 found 55 percent believe same-sex marriages should be “recognized by the law as valid, with the same rights as traditional marriages.” Forty-two percent said “not valid.” “When Gallup first asked Americans this question about same-sex marriage in 1996, 68% were opposed to recognizing marriage between two men or two women, with slightly more than a quarter supporting it (27%),” noted the polling group. “Since then, support has steadily grown, reaching 42% by 2004 when Massachusetts became the first state to legalize it -- a milestone that reached its 10th anniversary this month.”

PetersDRAWING ENDA AS THE LINE IN THE SAND:

A group of LGBT leaders in San Diego issued an open letter Wednesday, supporting a push for the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) and a vote for U.S. Rep. Scott Peters, the Democratic incumbent representing San Diego (Congressional District 52). Peters supports ENDA, and his openly gay Republican challenger Carl DeMaio has appeared less passionate about it. In November, according to examiner.com, DeMaio told a San Diego State University audience that he supports ENDA but doesn’t think Congress should legislate “social issues.” The May 22 letter, signed by California Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins, San Diego City Council President Todd Gloria, and others states, “Those seeking to support true equality and represent our community must be leaders, and public support and advocacy for this critical civil rights legislation should be the minimum we expect.”

SMALL TOWN FRIENDLY:

Voters in Pocatello, Idaho, voted down a measure Tuesday that was aimed at ending the town’s policy against discrimination based on sexual orientation. According to the Idaho State Journal, the vote was “razor thin.” Out of 9,623 votes cast, the margin of victory was 147 votes.

SMALL TOWN BULLIES: Hamilton

The Porterville City Council meeting attracted a crowd Monday, as many members of the public showed up to express their anger at Mayor Cam Hamilton’s remark last week that child victims of bullying should just “grow a pair” rather than ask for help from the council. The Porterville Recorder said Hamilton walked during the public comment session, to do an interview with CNN. In the CNN interview, he said he wished his remarks had been a “little less colorful,” but he said a proposal to create “safe zones” in schools doesn’t help victims once they leave the safe zones. He said kids need to learn how to “stand up for themselves,” but conceded society should also stand up to bullies. “If in fact we see somebody who is being harassed or is being bullied, we as a society –be it out in the city or in the school itself – have the ability to stand up for the person who is being bullied and just tell the bully, ‘We’re not going to put up with this.’”

© 2014 Keen News Service. All rights reserved.


Gallup: Nationwide Support for Gay Marriage at All-Time High

Gallup

According to a new poll from Gallup, support for gay marriage is at an all-time high:

Americans' support for the law recognizing same-sex marriages as legally valid has increased yet again, now at 55%. Marriage equality advocates have had a string of legal successes over the past year, most recently this week in Pennsylvania and Oregon where federal judges struck down bans on gay marriage.

And the demographic differences continue:

Among the most dramatic divisions in opinion on the issue are between age groups. As has been the case in the past, support for marriage equality is higher among younger Americans; the older an American is, the less likely he or she is to support marriage for same-sex couples. Currently, adults between the ages of 18 and 29 are nearly twice as likely to support marriage equality as adults aged of 65 and older.

Opinions also differ dramatically along party lines. Democrats (74%) are far more likely to support gay marriage as Republicans are (30%), while independents (58%) are more in line with the national average. Though Republicans still lag behind in their support of same-sex marriage, they have nearly doubled their support for it since Gallup began polling on the question in 1996.

More details HERE.


New Study Finds Disgusting Odors Make People Less Supportive of Gay Marriage

Gallagher

A team of political scientists and psychologists from the University of Arkansas has found an interesting link between stinky environments and less tolerant views on gay marriage. 

The New Republic reports:

For a study whose results were published this month in the journal PLOS ONE, political science professor Patrick Stewart and his colleagues recruited 57 participants and assigned them to take questionnaires on their social and political views in either an odorless room or a disgusting-smelling one. For the unlucky volunteers assigned to the “disgusting odor” group, the researchers added drops of butyric acid—the chemical best known for giving human vomit its smell—on cotton pads and hid them around the room.

Participants in the disgusting condition were far less tolerant of gay marriage and even gay relationships.

Odor study

In fact, the study showed that exposure to a disgusting odor increased endorsement of socially conservative attitudes across the board, including views on premarital sex, pornography, and abortion. The authors of the study hypothesized on the possibility that “exposure to a disgusting odorant caused increased feelings of disgust, which in turn activated the harm avoidance system and motivated a desire for purity (cleanliness).” 

Check out the study here


Pew Looks at Global Views on the Morality of Homosexuality

2_kiss

Pew has released a new survey that looks at global attitudes on eight topics often discussed as moral issues, homosexuality among them.

The survey found that homosexuality, along with gambling and extramarital affairs, were the three issues deemed “morally unacceptable” by the largest number of respondents.

Screen Shot 2014-04-23 at 11.11.19 AMPew reports:

Half or more in most of the 40 nations polled say that homosexuality is unacceptable. Nine-in-ten or more hold this view in seven nations. However, Europeans are much less likely to say homosexuality is unacceptable – this is especially true in Spain, Germany, the Czech Republic, France, Britain, and Italy, where about 20% or fewer express this opinion.

In the United States, 37% of respondents believe that homosexuality is “morally unacceptable,” 23% believe it is “morally acceptable,” and 35% believe homosexuality is not a issue of morality.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the survey also found that Republicans are more likely to view many of these issues as unacceptable.

Screen Shot 2014-04-23 at 11.13.24 AMThere are partisan divides in the U.S. on 5 of the 8 questions between Republicans and Democrats. This tracks with each party’s views on social issues, with Republicans generally considered more socially conservative and Democrats as more socially liberal. For instance, while 68% of Republicans believed that abortion is morally unacceptable, only 39% of Democrats said the same. Similar gaps appeared on the issues of homosexuality, premarital sex, and divorce. There was a smaller partisan gap on extramarital affairs, with little partisan differences on gambling, contraceptives, and alcohol — all of which are generally seen as morally acceptable or not a moral issue by Republicans, Democrats, and independents.

Check out all the survey's findings here


Poll Finds Americans View Gays More Favorably Than Evangelical Christians

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A new bipartisan study commissioned by the Human Rights Campaign and Americans for Marriage Equality found that 53 percent of Americans view gay people favorably, while only 42 percent of Americans view Evangelical Christians favorably. Gays do better on the other end of the spectrum as well, with just 18 percent of respondents viewing gays unfavorably compared to 28 percent for Evangelical Christians.

The survey of 1000 likely 2016 voters was conducted by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research and TargetPoint Consulting. Among the survey’s other main findings:

• There has been a huge shift toward social equality, with favorability ratings for “gay and lesbian” people increasing and the number of people who knows a gay or lesbian person  reaching 75 percent.  Even in football, the crucible of American culture, voters (79%-16%) judge a player by his ability, not his orientation.

• A 55 percent majority support marriage equality. While young people are at the vanguard of change, this survey also shows increased support among older voters, Catholics, non-college educated voters, and Republicans. 

• Rather than uniform opposition, marriage equality now splits the political right, with younger conservatives disagreeing with older conservatives. 40 percent of conservatives age 18-29 support gay marriage, compared to only 21 percent aged 50+

• Regardless of position on the issue, nearly 8 in 10 voters believe there will be less discrimination, it will be easier to grow up gay, and same-sex families would have more protection if marriage equality were legal in all 50 states.  

A presentation of the poll's findings is available at the GQR site HERE.  


Nationwide Support for Marriage Equality Hits All-Time High of 59 Percent in New Poll

Wapopoll

A new poll shows support for marriage equality nationwide has hit an all-time high, the Washington Post reports:

Half of all Americans believe that gay men and lesbians have a constitutional right to marry, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll in which a large majority also said businesses should not be able to deny serving gays for religious reasons.

Fifty percent say the U.S. Constitution's guarantee of equal protection gives gays the right to marry, while 41 percent say it does not.

Beyond the constitutional questions, a record-high 59 percent say they support same-sex marriage, while 34 percent are opposed, the widest margin tracked in Post-ABC polling.

The poll was conducted in the wake of a series of rulings by federal judges that state bans on same-sex marriage and prohibitions on recognizing marriages performed elsewhere are unconstitutional.

The poll also shows that by Americans oppose bills like the one in Arizona that would allow discrimination against gays based on religious beliefs. And their is strong support for gay adoption.

More here.


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