Monday, September 21, 2009

Nate Silver on gay marriage

Gay Marriage Is Fading as 'Values' Focal Point

It's Mike Huckabee's win in the presidential straw poll at this past week's Value Voters' summit that's drawing the headlines. But this is every bit as interesting:
Abortion ranked first among issues of concern to straw-poll voters, getting 41 percent of the vote, with protection of religious liberty second with 18 percent.

Opposition to same-sex marriage was third at 7 percent.

Public opinion is moving toward acceptance of gay marriage. But it is doing so very slowly, at a rate of perhaps a point or two per year, and has at least a few years to go before it is the majority opinion. In the near term, the more relevant dimension may be 'passion', or depth of feeling. It used to be that the conservatives were ahead on passion -- they were strongly opposed to gay marriage, whereas liberals were, at best, lukewarmly in favor of it. Increasingly, that dynamic seems to be reversing.

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