December 23rd, 2008
04:00 PM ET
1 year ago

Post-Prop 8, public opinion on same-sex marriage unchanged

Public opinion on California's controversial Proposition 8 remains unchanged.
Public opinion on California's controversial Proposition 8 remains unchanged.

(CNN) - How have the aftershocks of California’s Proposition 8 - the legal challenges to the states same-sex marriage ban, the protests and boycotts, the controversy that greeted President-elect Obama’s decision to invite evangelical minister Rick Warren to deliver the invocation at his inauguration –- affected national public opinion on the issue?

Not at all, according to a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll released Tuesday.

In June, 44 percent of those surveyed said that gay marriages should be recognized by law as valid, and a slim majority – 53 percent – said they should not. Six months later, public opinion seems frozen in place, at least for the moment: support for gay marriage remains at 44 percent. So does the opposition –- at 55 percent, it’s statistically unchanged from the summer result, given the survey’s margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.

Attitudes also remain unchanged on the question of gays in the military, with strong continuing support for the lifting of the current ban on openly gay service-members. Eighty-one percent of those surveyed say the ban should be lifted, compared with 17 percent who do not. In May of 2007, 79 percent supported lifting the ban, and 18 percent did not.

There has been a bit of movement on one question: a slight up-tick in those who say the government should “do more to support traditional values”: 57 percent of those polled agreed with that statement, to 41 percent who said the government should not favor any particular set of values.

In 2006, 51 percent of those polled said the government should do more to promote traditional values, while 43 percent disagreed with that statement.

The poll of 1,013 adult Americans was conducted by telephone by Opinion Research Corporation on December 19-21, 2008. The margin of sampling error is plus or minus 3 percentage points.


Filed under: CNN poll • Same-sex marriage
soundoff (122 Responses)
  1. Vicki5

    Mike from Philly: As I said to Obama lady, if you would read all of my posts, I am asking you all what the difference is. If civil unions are not the same as far as rights, then why don't you fight for that? Perhaps it is because you would rather shove your beliefs on those who believe differently than you. Sound familiar?

    December 23, 2008 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  2. Anna, ATL

    The Church is Forcing their beliefs on people?
    Forcing you to do what?

    You don't like religion, just it's sacred terminology.

    Makes a lot of sense.

    December 23, 2008 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  3. Independant Thinker

    Common sense and morality prevailed!!!!

    If a man has sex with a child, he is a pervert.

    If a man has sex wih an animal, he is a pervert.

    So, shouldn't a man be a pervert if he has sex with another man???

    None of the above are NORMAL !!!!!! And you can go to JAIL for the 1st two.

    December 23, 2008 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  4. Matt

    @ naqib

    Seeing as how I'm single (and straight, since you useem to be confused about whether support for gay rights makes someone gay themselves), I get no tax breaks. Married couples get to file a joint return and, bottom line, it results in a lower tax burden...even without children in the mix.

    December 23, 2008 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  5. ottisp

    Why were there no locks on all the closets????

    December 23, 2008 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  6. Vicki5

    la guy: OK then, that societal group of Americans. Come on, get real and have some real discussions would you. It sounds like non-deplume is onto something – as far as solutions go. You guys can call me an idiot all you want, but that doesn't help. I'm trying to help you find solutions, and it sounds to me like you should fight to make civil unions more equal to marriage. Seems simple to me. Or, would you rather just scream and holler.

    December 23, 2008 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  7. G.R.I.T.S. - Girl Raised in the South

    Kevin, you said: "Imagine if all the people who didn't want Obama to be president whined as much as gays did."

    --
    Um, they whine more and louder, and angrier and more annoyingly. You are a little off base, though. Yes, a majority of folks seem to not want gays to have the same rights as everyone else, however, we are supposed to give voice to the minority as well, that's what we have reps. for, to make sure everyone is heard.

    December 23, 2008 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  8. MC- Atlanta,GA

    this will change.

    December 23, 2008 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  9. Pam Holt Los Angeles, CA

    The ONLY people that should be able to decide on gay marriage is GAY PEOPLE! They are the ONLY ones affected by it. If they want it, they should have it. It's their business, and no one else's.

    December 23, 2008 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  10. Gay Marriage

    Vicki are you related to Gov. Palin?? It sounds like both of you Idiots are from the same village. Who's your leader?

    December 23, 2008 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  11. Beth

    The gay/lesbian movement would benefit from doing things a bit different. Instead of continuing to try to re-define marriage, they should try to obtain the legal rights given by civil unions/domestic partnership at the federal level.

    Right now, some states allow same sex couples to enter into domestic partnerships (California does), but these rights exist only at the state level, so if a couple leaves California, other states would not recognize their rights. The gay movement should fight to obtain the domestic partnership rights at the federal level.

    Stop trying to re-define marriage, that is a church-thing. btw, I voted no on prop. 8.

    December 23, 2008 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  12. FreeNLovIt

    I am single and I dont have kids. My sisters are married and there's about six kids running around when they come over to visit us. Bottomline, if we are GAY, America will have no future. How are you supposed to reproduce? As a Christian, it is immoral and it goes against the law set forth by God. Angels CANNOT marry us. There are consequences (giant evil men/women). Same-sex will cause a disruption in the family structure. Like I said, I can love my brother but I dont have to accept the fact that he comes home DRUNK.

    "Freedom is not the right to do what we ant, but what we ought" – Abe Lincoln

    December 23, 2008 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  13. DP

    To Ran...Abortion rights and Gay rights cannot be compared. Marriage is a religious union between two couples. I do support same sex partnerships and the legal rights that go with them. If the majority of the people say they do not want to grant marriage to gay's then I will stick with it the same as I will stick by who the people elect for president. Abortion, on the other hand, is the killing of a living organism. I bet you are the same person who opposes the slaughter of animals for food. Here is an argument. Why is the sucking of a living embryo out of someone not considered detroying a life form? At least with a cow, we use it to feed ourselves and survive. You hide behind science when it comes to global warming. Well, I am going to hide behind science that say an embryo is a living organism.

    December 23, 2008 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  14. FreeNLovIt

    For all you Rick Warren Hater, America also belongs to the STRAIGHT!!! Proud to be an STRAIGHT American!!

    December 23, 2008 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  15. Mike Philly

    Vicki, Vicki, Vicki. If you don't know what the difference is, then I think it's pretty obvious why you're experiencing trouble having an intelligent conversation.

    December 23, 2008 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  16. Gay Marriage

    OK let's try this one. George Bush and Cheney have been molesting me for the past 8 years and I haven't seen anyone on this site complain. Let's grow up and allow gay men and women make their own decisions concerning there life.

    December 23, 2008 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  17. FreeNLovIt

    Studies show that GAY men have the highest rate of AIDS. This is America, but you gotta draw the line somewhere between right and wrong. In Noah's day, people lived freely the way they wanted and there was CHAOS. The sins of the cries of people were heard up to the heavens. Sodom and Gomorrah was destroyed!!!

    December 23, 2008 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  18. OldGaDawg

    I'll bet that most Gays wish they had voted for someone else.

    December 23, 2008 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  19. Danielle

    "I wander if Santa Claus will have the marvelous idea to give as special present to each democrat, A BRAIN!, so they can descern intelligently to vote republican on the next elections (if we ever get another elections)."

    You wander that? Really? And descern? In this language, Mr. Cabrera, we spell it discern, and we do not use it as a synonym for decide. You are as full of syntactical and spelling errors as you are full of... you get the picture. If you're going to insult liberals, insult our morality, not our brains, as liberal ideas are based on what is logical rather than what is religious.

    And truly, what is the problem with gay marriage? How does it hurt me? Are they really secretly campaigning to make everyone gay? Or is it just that people think opposing gay marriage will make people think they're not closet cases? (see: Larry Craig.) Please, just because you think it's wrong doesn't mean it is. Go protest the first amendment while you're at it.

    December 23, 2008 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  20. canuck

    53% is a slim majority, but Obama getting 52% is a strong mandate. nice double standard.

    December 23, 2008 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  21. FreeNLovIt

    To Ran

    Eighteen days after conception, IT has a heartbeat. It is a human. I watched a documentary in South America. She was a nurse and she performed illegal abortion operations. One day a client of her died from her operation and she was thrown into jail. There, she discovered God and she repented of her sins, helping to kill babies through abortions. God told her it was wrong. Life starts with a heartbeat and ENDS with a heartbeat. In the hospital, we are measured by heartbeats, not limbs and legs.

    December 23, 2008 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  22. FreeNLovIt

    Angels cannot marry US, humans. It is forbidden and is not a healthy relationship. Same-sex marriage is forbidden in the Bible.

    December 23, 2008 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  23. Matt

    @ EW

    Nobody is inventing any rights. There is no reason why a union between a man and a woman should have LEGAL rights with respect to taxes, inheritence and their children while a union between two same sex partners gets none. Throw them out of your intolerant medievil religious institutions if you want, but they're equal in the eyes of the law.

    December 23, 2008 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  24. Yes on Prop 8

    No Marriage should be given a legal definition. Whether it be between a man and a woman or two same sex people. This isn't about hating gays for all of us, some of us simply don't like ANY special treatment of marriage.

    It's a bond between two people and should have ZERO effect from a legal stance. I voted for Prop 8 on those conditions. I agree that we currently have protected status for married couples of opposite sex, but I think we should do away with that as well.

    There's more to it people. Not everyone who voted for prop 8 has something against gays. Get married if you like, don't...but don't go around expecting special treatment because you are married (that goes for straights and gays alike).

    Sincerely,
    Happily Married

    December 23, 2008 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  25. carol

    I don't think there should be any Gay Marriages.....I don't believe in that at all, but there should be legal unions to give them the same rights.
    This is my own opinion and nothing to do with any church groups....I can think for myself without any church telling me what to think and do.
    People have a right to fall in love with whomever they choose and if it is one of your own gender that is your own choice and who are we to judge that love.
    I do however draw the line in this notion of "marriage" that I feel is going too far.

    December 23, 2008 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
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