October 19th, 2007
08:30 AM ET
14 years ago

Americans and values

WASHINGTON (CNN) -  How do Americans feel about abortion and gay marriage - two of the major "values" issues of the day?

According to a new CNN Opinion Research Corporation Poll out Friday morning, only about one in five Americans want to prevent abortions from happening under any circumstances. An equal number think abortions should be allowed under any circumstances. That leaves most Americans squarely in the middle, although a plurality would like to see abortions be legal in only a few circumstances. Although they may not want to ban all abortions, most Americans agree that abortion is wrong.

Americans also disapprove of gay marriages. 56 percent of the public says that marriages between homosexuals should not be recognized as valid by law.

The poll comes as thousands of Christian conservatives gather in the nation’s capitol Friday and Saturday for a Value Voters Summit. All of the Republican GOP presidential candidates will attend and speak to the audience.

1,212 adult Americans were questioned for the survey. It was conducted by telephone on October 12-14, and has a sampling error of plus or minus three percentage points.

- CNN Deputy Political Director Paul Steinhauser

Filed under: Polls
soundoff (95 Responses)
  1. Steve, Sumter SC

    Sorry, my spell check is on vacation!

    October 19, 2007 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  2. Leo, LA,CA

    To James, Phoenix AZ: I was not trying to offend anyone. I honestly never have seen what the big deal is due to having friends that are gay. But there is some scientific proof out there of gay being genetic, whether any of it is conclusive or not is definitely for me to decide. As far as I'm concerned we should all be allowed our own beliefs and our own choices without someone else getting upset and interfering. But that will probably never happen.

    For some other people (religious) out there, and this probably will get me hit at for saying, but oh well. I leave you all some questions.

    Is there really proof that God exists? Is there really proof that the bible wasn't just written as someone's fiction or as a way to have power and influence over us? And to those that say that there was nothing before he created us... If there was nothing, then how was he created? Is it just that we need to believe in something greater in order to live?

    These questions are only meant for people to actually take a chance and see some other peoples views. So don't go jumping off your rockers anyone.

    October 19, 2007 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  3. Leo, LA,CA

    And I meant to say it is definitely NOT for me to decide whether anything is conclusive.

    October 19, 2007 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  4. Mary, Mountain View, CA

    James of AZ: "Sorry Leo – but you're stating something which is NOT a fact. SHOW us any scientific data which has found the "gay" gene."

    So you're saying that homosexuality is choice? Sorry to inform you, but it's not. NO ONE chooses to become gay. Either you're born with it or you're not. Easy and simple.

    If it were a choice, why then would so many people choose something that is still considered taboo/immoral by much of society? Do you think they choose to live a life of judgment, ridicule, condemnation on the basis of their orientation? Even the Roman Catholic Church, one of the most vocal opponents
    of gay marriage, acknowledges that gay people are born they way they are.

    October 19, 2007 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  5. James, Phoenix AZ

    Mary – Mountain View,

    Aside from your anecdotal evidence (because YOU say so... or because a certain segment of the Gay population suggest it was "from birth")... WHERE is your evidence?

    You assert something to be a fact (Being gay is genetic) – yet there is not any concrete evidence to support this statement.

    Over a billion people suggest Jesus was the Son of God. Does that know become a FACT for everyone to accept?

    October 19, 2007 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  6. Bobby, Terre Haute, Indiana

    Abortion should be allowed in all circumstances but only for the first trimester, unless there is risk of injury to the mother or child after those first three months. Also, homosexuals should be allowed to marry and all groups should recognize same-sex marriages as a regular marriage. As another comment read, why should the majority of Americans disregard the rights of others. Especially those who want to be happy and to be with the ones they love. How can you deny a person the right to a "pursuit of happiness?" This is one of our unalienable rights written in the most important document in the history of the world, the Declaration of Independence. Gay marriages and abortions are going to become legal everywhere in the United States very soon. The youths of today have views that everyone is equal, including gays and women who choose, unlike the majority of Americans it seems. We know that you cannot deny rights of people that most Americans want to deny them: the right of women to choose and the right of gays to marry. The political and social climate of America is shifting more with my generation than any other before.

    October 19, 2007 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  7. Paul C., Palmetto Bay, FL

    Abortion and gay marriages are primarily personal issues and don't affect the Christian bible thumpers but they feel it necessary that they improve other people's behavior.
    I would prefer that they addressed the stupid war; outrageous deficit, loss of jobs in the U.S.; shrinking dollar; lack of healthcare; soaring gas prices.
    No one is concerned that you cannot go into a department store or electronics shop and find more that 2 items made in the U.S.
    What the hell is important to you people?

    October 19, 2007 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  8. Bud Clark

    Hairy? Sweaty? Works for me!

    Bud in San Diego

    October 19, 2007 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  9. Marti, Plano, TX

    Thank you to the thoughtful individuals who pointed out that abortion is a highly private and personal matter – don't like it? Don't do it. Your choice.

    In re: gay marriage, I dearly wish that everyone who salivates about this would realize that, in order to be "married" here, you first have to have a "license" from the government that grants certain civil rights. THEN you can choose (or not) to have this legal contract recognized via a religious ceremony. I think gays rightfully are demanding the civil liberties that this government grants to couples who commit to the contract.

    What say?

    October 19, 2007 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
  10. Mike, Cleveland, OH

    Marriage is an institution that has historical ties with religion. I don't know of any religion that allows gay marriages. But most governments in the world allow Civil Marriages. Many people choose to be married in a secular ceremony for various reasons.
    If you are against gay marriage for religious reasons, fine by me. However, most people don't conduct their lives so devout and piously. I think we need to make religion a private matter for all people. Stop trying to convert people. Think of how few wars would be fought and how many people would be alive if religion didn't play such a big role in our lives.

    All of the gay people that I know have stated that they were born that way. To my knowledge, there is no conclusive proof of a biological factor that makes a person gay or straight. Regardless, I see no reason for why the same rights conferred upon to straight couples cannot also be applied to gay couples in a civil marriage. David from AZ, I guess we are going to have to agree to disagree. I do not see gay marriage as a new right. As long as two people love each other, they should be allowed to marry monogamously in a civil union.

    James, Phoenix, AZ
    I agree with your statements about parenting and no accepting ALL behavior. However, the behavior part is what bothers me. You obviously feel that being gay is wrong. That is your choice, but instead of thinking that gay is wrong, why not think of it as being different.

    October 19, 2007 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
  11. Ed NC

    Abortion is murder.

    October 19, 2007 09:06 pm at 9:06 pm |
  12. ThirstyJon, Adelaide, SA, Australia - from the U.S.A.

    Abortion is far worse than the illusion of "gay marriage." It involves the slaughter of millions of innocent children.

    When America didn't abolish slavery we ended up with a civil war.

    I don't know what will come if we don't rid ourselves of the scourge of infant murder, but I don't doubt that one day we will look back at 1973 – when abortion ends as a dark period in our history.


    October 19, 2007 09:27 pm at 9:27 pm |
  13. Zach

    Ok this god stuff has got to stop! For one and the poll came out the way on gay-marriages because once again they didn't poll an average american they polled someone who goes to church. God is not in america and he isn't going to stop what is happening in the world so get over it. Gay-marriage is a personal matter and shouldn't be an issue. Abortion is only accectpable when there is a certain issue at hand. So next time CNN get's the nereve to poll people about these to subject's let's poll people who don't worship god in every corner of there life.

    October 19, 2007 10:58 pm at 10:58 pm |
  14. ronnie - knoxville tn.

    there's a reason the male and female bodies fit together, it's natural. Don't mess with nature. Abortion is murder. Nuff said

    October 20, 2007 12:05 am at 12:05 am |
  15. Chris, Middletown, CT

    I wish there was a candidate running who was both socially liberal..and fiscally conservative....wait...its Giuliani....(I don't believe he would of supported the Woodstock museum for a cool million....in a childrens healthcare bill....very very telling....watch....if this becomes an issue....she will have Schummer fall on the sword for it.....the Clinton machine will NOT accept responsibility for any of its actions...)

    October 20, 2007 08:18 am at 8:18 am |
  16. Peter, Wausau, WI

    Just as I was losing hope in our country, I find that there is still in fact a majority of people (56%) who acknowledge the fact that homosexuality is absolutely immoral. Thank you, America, for continuing to stand up for basic morality.

    October 20, 2007 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  17. Hilary, Rochester NY

    Let me say it again..

    According to this CNN poll, the majority of American's agreed with Republican Christian values.

    WOW!! I can't believe CNN actually put this on the ticker..

    Posted By RightyTighty : October 19, 2007 11:03 am

    The poll did not indicate that a majority of Americans would then proceed to choose their political affiliation, their president, or their government based on these values. The poll also did not indicate that a majority of Americans would like their government to enforce these values as law.

    I don't like abortion, and would prefer that it not exist. But when it comes to abortion and the rule of law, I want the freedom to exercise my values by making my choice not to have an abortion. Leave me my choice, and you let me make that potentially difficult decision to do what's right. Take it away, and then what good are values and principles and moral convictions? We can only obey.

    I happen to have absolutely no problem with gay marriage whatsoever. If I were to find one, however, that wouldn't automatically lead me to conclude that it had to be made illegal, or that I needed to vote for James Dobson next November, or that I had to start identifying myself as a Republican Christian conservative.

    I for one would like to be able to do the right thing simply because it's the right thing.

    I also can't help wondering why there are so many people in America for whom what does or does not go into a man's bottom is a moral litmus test.

    October 21, 2007 01:15 am at 1:15 am |
  18. Jeff, Houston, Texas

    In the face of over-population, abortion may enventually save this planet. I would contribute heavily to any program that promoted birth control. Gay mairrage might actually be a blessing in diguise.

    October 21, 2007 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  19. DMW, Roeland Park

    Humm...1,212 people are far from a majority of Americans. And Values include more than abortion and gay marriage. These are Republican issues. And all of us are not Republicans. I am Independent.

    What about feeding the poor, education, the evironment, homelessness, etc. These are values as well; yet, we rarely discuss them.

    I do not believe in the bible as a literal document. It has been put together by a bunch of white men centuries ago and we know, if we are honest with ourselves that white men (or any group) will put themselves above all others.

    My personal GOD loves everyone and does not punish anyone. After all, did not GOD (the creator), create everything and everyone perfectly as we are??? My personal GOD did not make any mistakes. Each person is choosing how to live their life. For me, hate and taking away GOD given rights are not apart of how I live and love GOD and my fellow human-beings.

    Love each other is the major blessing Jesus sent to us and it is distressing that so many people feel that it is good and GOD sent for us to judge, discriminate, and hate; and they use GOD, Jesus, Yaweh, Creator, whatever you want to call that Source to justify it.

    For SHAME on all of those who do not truly believe GOD is love. If you say it is alright to hate in any form, then you can not believe in GOD and the good news.

    October 22, 2007 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  20. Davis, NYC, NY

    yes, georgina- the world should be black and white with no grey area needed. that is the way it should be but politics (pile o tricks) and religion tend to grey it up. oh yes, you can use science to bend it your way just like people use the bible to bend it their way, too.

    October 22, 2007 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
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