Tuesday, February 22, 2011

RI supports gay marriage

As the Rhode Island state legislature considers legalizing gay marriage, a majority of voters in the state support such a move. 50% are in favor of 'allow(ing) gay and lesbian couples to marry legally' compared to 41% in opposition and 9% who don't have an opinion.

Rhode Island is another state where this breaks down very much as a generational issue. Only senior citizens, by a 48/39 margin, are opposed to legalizing same sex marriage. Young voters (under 30) support it 62/31, and middle aged voters (31 to 65) favor it by a 51/42 spread. It's not going to be too long before the simple aging of the US population produces a lasting pro-gay marriage majority. The people who are opposed to it are gradually dying out and being replaced in the electorate by voters who are perfectly comfortable with it.

Unsurprisingly Democrats are strongly in favor of legalization, by a 65/27 margin, while Republicans oppose it by a 73/12 spread. Independents are by far the largest voter bloc in Rhode Island and they favor it by a 47/45 margin.

If Rhode Island legislators want to stay on the right side of public opinion they'll pass the bill.

Full results here


Dale Sheldon-Hess said...

And it'd be about time! Come on RI, you're the last hold-out in New England.

Anonymous said...

Not as big of a margin as I thought.

Andrea said...

Thanks for researching this! Much appreciated!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for asking this.

Anonymous said...

Multiple polls in recent years have shown Catholic voters more supportive of marriage equality than many other groups.

Perhaps this is an unintended result of the increasingly absurd and desperate pronouncements of the Catholic bishops? In any case, it's probably noteworthy that Rhode Island has the largest percentage of Catholics of any state in the country.

Anonymous said...

The poll must have been done at Brown University. Not one single person I know supports it. Some, including myself do however support civil unions.

Anonymous said...


Ever hear of Maine. Maine is in New England.

A Voltaire said...

The real problem with gay marriage is the "just as good" messaging it conveys to all young and impressionable kids. The American Psychological Association has found that no child is born with a particular sexual orientation. Do Rhode Island parents really want as many kids as possible in their extended family to grow up gay?

Dustin Ingalls said...

Voltaire: Does legal alcohol consumption cause kids to become alcoholics? Or does illegal pot smoking keep kids from using it?

"Not one single person I know supports it."

That's such a scientific poll that clearly trumps ours. I know no one who lives in Rhode Island. So clearly no one lives there.

A Voltaire said...

Dustin: Like most other Americans, I think that the civil unions approach for gay couples makes a lot of sense - as it does in the U.K and seven U.S. states including Hawaii.
I have friends and colleagues who are gay. I don't say that their sexuality is immoral or should be made illegal. I just know first-hand that heterosexual love, when it is right, is profoundly fulfilling on so many levels. I cannot support public promotion of a lifestyle that centers on a rather sad sexuality.

Dustin Ingalls said...

So you do think they're immoral, and you have no objective argument.

kevin said...

actually a voltaire youre wrong the american psychological association says this:What causes a person to have a particular sexual orientation?

There are numerous theories about the origins of a person's sexual orientation. Most scientists today agree that sexual orientation is most likely the result of a complex interaction of environmental, cognitive and biological factors. In most people, sexual orientation is shaped at an early age. There is also considerable recent evidence to suggest that biology, including genetic or inborn hormonal factors, play a significant role in a person's sexuality.

It's important to recognize that there are probably many reasons for a person's sexual orientation, and the reasons may be different for different people.
Is sexual orientation a choice?

No, human beings cannot choose to be either gay or straight. For most people, sexual orientation emerges in early adolescence without any prior sexual experience. Although we can choose whether to act on our feelings, psychologists do not consider sexual orientation to be a conscious choice that can be voluntarily changed.

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