Morality and gay marriage

Mostly, this recent Gallup data on the morality of homosexuality shows that, among various demographic groups, support for gay marriage is almost identical to the percentage that thing homosexual relationships are moral.  What intrigued me most, though, was comparing the latter two columns in this chart and looking for groups where this does not necessarily hold up.  The answer?  Catholics and Republicans.  Both Catholics and Republicans are quite a bit less supportive of gay marriage than their attitudes towards the morality of homosexuality would suggest, whereas for most other groups the difference is almost nothing:

I’ll hazard a guess at what’s going on here.  Many Catholics, despite their own views on the overall morality, feel compelled to listen to their church, and in much the same way, many Republicans (and I bet they are older ones) feel the need to “listen” to their party.  Party identification and polarization in action.

About Steve Greene
Professor of Political Science at NC State

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