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The jig is up NOM – Bush, Obama pollsters see same-sex marriage approval ‘rising dramatically’

The bigots and “family values” crowd are losing their grip on this issue. Big time, even with seniors. More Americans are seeing the freedom to marry as a positive, not as some threat to the institution. The folks at Freedom to Marry just released a new polling memo today that shows support for marriage equality has accelerated dramatically in the last two years. (The Politico):

The pollsters, Republican Jan van Lohuizen and Democrat Joel Benenson, argue in their memo, which can be read in full here, that support for marriage is increasing at an accelerating rate, and that the shift is driven by a politically crucial group, independents. They are expected to unveil the memo, which was commissioned by the group Freedom to Marry and shared exclusively with POLITICO, at a press conference at the National Press Club today.

…The pollsters conclude that the issue is changing fast: “It is clear that the public is in the process of rethinking its position on the issue, with all political groups – Democrats, Independents as well as Republicans – and all age groups more likely to support marriage for same-sex couples,” they write.

They also note a factor that has been increasingly clear to observers of state legislative fights on the subject: Momentum and public interest appear to be shifting in the direction of supporters of same-sex marriage.

Freedom to Marry’s Evan Wolfson:

“America’s elected officials are lagging behind the American people, a majority of whom have opened their hearts and changed their minds and now support the freedom to marry with accelerating momentum,” said Wolfson. ”This authoritative analysis by leading pollsters in both parties will strengthen Freedom to Marry’s federal campaign and help make the political case that supporting the freedom to marry is not only the right thing to do, but the right thing to do politically—on both sides of the aisle.”

Support for the freedom to marry rose about 1% per year over a 13-year period between 1996 and 2009. In 2010 and 2011, it shot up 5% per year. Voters under 40 support marriage by almost 70%. As young people reach voting age, this rise is expected to continue.

But the generational shift is only one factor.

“The remarkable surge over the last two years can’t be explained by generational change alone. It suggests that people across the political spectrum are rethinking their positions—and deciding in favor of the freedom to marry,” said Lohuizen.

Since 2006, support has increased:
15% among seniors
13% among Independents
8% among Republicans

Minnesotans and North Carolinians take note: think twice before acting rashly on fear and ignorance by passing anti-LGBT marriage amendments rather than accepting the fact that there will is no cultural (or religious, for that matter) destruction that has occurred by allowing same-sex couples to have civil marriage equality.

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding