Poll: For first time, opposition to gay marriage below 50%

The shift in opinion on same-sex marriage has been broad-based, occurring across many demographic, political and religious groups. Notably, pluralities of white mainline Protestants and white Catholics now favor allowing gays and lesbians to marry legally – the first time this has occurred in Pew Research Center surveys. Political independents are divided in their views of same-sex-marriage; in 2009, they opposed it by a wide margin…

The public continues to be far more supportive of gays and lesbians serving openly in the military than of allowing legal same-sex marriages. This year, 60% say they favor allowing gays and lesbians to serve openly in the military, while 30% oppose this. Support for gays serving openly in the military has remained fairly stable over the last five years. In 1994, shortly after the Clinton administration implemented the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy, opinion was more evenly divided (52% favor vs. 45% oppose).

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