Thursday, March 23, 2006

Bashing Gay Marriage Is So 2004

According to a poll at the Pew Research Center, opposition to gay marriage has declined to the point where barely a majority of those polled are opposed to it — down from 63% two years ago.

The turnaround over the past two years is particularly distinct in the change among those who say they “strongly oppose” legalizing gay marriage. Just 28% take this position today, down from 42% in February of 2004, and the decline has been sharpest among seniors, Republicans and more moderate religious groups. Fully 58% of Americans age 65 and older strongly opposed gay marriage in 2004; only 33% are strongly opposed now. Two years ago 59% of Republicans strongly opposed gay marriage, while just 41% take this position today. And both white Catholics and non-evangelical Protestants are half as likely to strongly oppose gay marriage today as they were in 2004. Opposition remains strongest among white evangelical Protestants, 56% of whom strongly oppose legalizing gay marriage, down from 65% two years ago.

This is good news for tolerance and could make it difficult for the righties and the RNC to make an issue out of sexual orientation without coming across as homophobic bigots. All of the fear and smear tactics that they resorted to in 2004 — AUGH! Queers getting married in Massachusetts! Fire and brimstone! — have melted into the everyday rhythm of people living their lives and worrying about things that really matter, like holding a job, paying the mortgage, and wondering what business it is of some hypocritical whiny babies in Washington to stick their noses into their private lives.