Gay Marriage Is Back On The Radar For Republicans, Evangelicals

  • June 12, 2008

The balance of public opinion regarding gay marriage is more positive now than it was during the 2004 campaign. However, Republicans and white evangelical Protestants, in particular, remain staunchly opposed to allowing gays and lesbians to marry, and increasing numbers of Republicans and white evangelicals say that gay marriage will be very important in their voting decisions.

In the most recent People-Press survey, which was conducted May 21-25, 49% of Americans said they oppose allowing gay and lesbian couples to marry while 38% favored gay marriages. In July 2004, 56% opposed gay marriage, compared with 32% who supported legal marriages between gays and lesbians.

The survey, conducted shortly after a decision by California's Supreme Court overturning the state's ban on gay marriage, found that 28% of voters view gay marriage as a very important issue, somewhat fewer than did so near the end of the 2004 campaign (32% in October 2004). But gay marriage has increased in importance since October 2007 (22%), with most of this increase coming among Republicans, white evangelical Protestants and Catholics.

Read the complete findings Gay Marriage Is Back On The Radar For Republicans, Evangelicals on the Pew Research Center Web site.