Gay marriage support strong in New England, weak in the South

Just a quick note and another post-election follow-up on an issue of importance to the faith community.

A new Pew Research Center analysis shows a geographical split on gay marriage.

A sign outside a North Carolina church urges voters to support traditional marriage in the May primary. Voters ratified a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage. (The Associated Press)

As supporters of same-sex marriage won key victories in several states Tuesday, a new analysis of polling shows that 48% of Americans favor allowing gays and lesbians to marry legally, while 43% oppose same-sex marriage. Just four years ago, in the 2008 election cycle, 51% opposed making same-sex marriages legal and 39% favored it.

But the new analysis finds that support is much stronger in some regions of the country than in others. States that approved measures this week are all in regions generally supportive of allowing gays and lesbians to marry legally. Other parts of the country are not as supportive. For instance, in New England, 62% favor same-sex marriage, and 56% in the central Southern states (Alabama, Kentucky, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Texas) oppose it.

The latest polling by the Pew Research Center also finds some narrowing of long-standing racial differences in attitudes toward gay marriage. Consistently over the past decade, blacks have been far less supportive of legalizing gay marriage than whites. But the latest survey conducted two weeks ago found blacks divided more evenly on this issue than in the past, with 44% in favor and 39% opposed to allowing gay marriage.

What are your thoughts on this controversial issue?

About John Hilton

I grew up in Susquehanna County, Pa. and graduated Syracuse University with a dual degree in journalism/political science in 1998. After working for nearly three years for a weekly paper in upstate New York, I came to southcentral Pennsylvania. I spent 13 years as a reporter and editor for The Sentinel in Carlisle and joined the York Daily Record as religion reporter in September 2011.
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