Study Finds Greater Support for Gay Marriage

A new study found that opposition to gay marriage has declined since 1996, from 65 percent to 53 percent. Meanwhile, the study by Pew Research Center for the People and the Press found that the percent of people who favor the legalization of gay marriage has increased from 28 percent to 38 percent.

The right of lesbians and gay men to marry could be a contentious issue in the Democratic primary following the recent Supreme Court decision decriminalizing sodomy. At a candidates’ forum hosted by the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation’s largest lesbian and gay rights group, only three of the Democratic candidates said they were in favor of gay marriage: former Senator Carol Mosely-Braun, Rep. Dennis Kucinich (OH), and the Rev. Al Sharpton. Others said they supported civil unions but stopped short of endorsing gay marriage. Sharpton said that asking him if he supports gay marriage “is like asking me if I support black marriage or white marriage. The inference of the question is that gays are not human beings and cannot make a decision like other human beings,” according to the Washington Post.

In her response to a survey HRC distributed to candidates, Mosely-Braun stated, “While I applaud the Vermont civil union laws, I am convinced that ultimately inequities will arise if there is one set of laws governing marriage commitments for heterosexuals and another set of laws governing marriage commitments for homosexuals.”

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HRC 7/15/03; PEW study 7/24/03; Washington Post 7/16/03; New York Times 7/25/03

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