Secular Right | Reality & Reason

May/09

24

Gay marriage attitudes by political orientation

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The Audacious Epigone points out that though attitudes toward gay marriage shifted a great deal over the past few years for liberals and moderates, not so much for conservatives. This makes sense. I’ve looked at attitudes toward homosexuals where liberals, and to a lesser extent moderates, exhibit a great deal of age dependent difference. In contrast young conservatives tend to agree with older conservatives to a far greater extent. Younger conservatives who point out that opposition to gay marriage is less burning of an issue for more recent age cohorts on the Right are correct, but the difference is dwarfed by the radical changes you see in the Center and Left.

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6 comments

  • Danilo · May 24, 2009 at 9:27 pm

    Mamma mia, you guys are obsessed with us. I see the word ‘gay’ here so much I feel like I am visiting a gay newspaper. What on earth will you guys talk about when we have equal rights?

  • Hugo · May 25, 2009 at 1:54 am

    Indeed Danilo, it is really ironic when they try to come over as saying that “gay marriage is less burning of an issue”, yeah right, that’s why there are so many posts …

  • Author comment by David Hume · May 26, 2009 at 12:15 am

    danilo, you shouldn’t stereotype. i actually support equal rights :-)

  • Caledonian · May 26, 2009 at 6:41 am

    I for one am tired of hearing what the Religious Right believes and does.

    This is SECULAR Right, dedicated to reason and reality, and the people who identify with it are not interested in the homosexual fixation displayed by the posters here.

    If those posters aren’t part of the old liberal tradition, why are they here? And why aren’t they being asked to go elsewhere?

  • Chris · May 27, 2009 at 12:24 pm

    In contrast young conservatives tend to agree with older conservatives to a far greater extent.

    Well, DUH. Deference to elders (and by extension, ancestors and the way they did things, i.e. tradition) is one of the defining traits of conservatism (broadly defined). If they routinely disagreed with older conservatives *they wouldn’t be conservative*. They’d be rebellious punks.

    The fact that liberalism doesn’t have a conformity enforcement division is one of the biggest things that distinguishes it from conservatism. (And also one of the most frequently misunderstood by conservatives who are convinced that it *must* exist, because how can you be a political movement without one?)

  • JohnC · May 27, 2009 at 8:35 pm

    While as Chris notes there is nothing surprising here, I am also inclined to think this is not a uselful way of understanding the issue. The relationship between conservatism in general and social conservatism in the US is clearly hinged on a particular form and view of religious belief.

    Of the innumerable polls that have been taken, Newsweek asked: “How much, if at all, do your religious beliefs determine your views on the issue of gay marriage? Are your religious beliefs very important, somewhat important, not too important, or not at all important in determining your views on gay marriage?”

    Very important: 41%. Somewhat important: 21%.

    What is happening, I think, is a delinking of religious belief from social policy on this issue, but this is necessarily much slower among conservatives than for moderates and liberals, for whom religious belief is more likely to be seen as a matter of private conscience.

    I would further hazard a guess that there would be a very high correlation between those for whom religion plays the dominant role in their attitudes towards marriage equality and those with whacky ideas about evolutionary theory.

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