Pew Poll: 1 in 10 LGBTQ’s are against marriage equality
While the majority of LGBT individuals support same-sex marriage, a surprising number are also opposed. This information all comes via a survey conducted by the Pew Research Center in late 2014.
The survey asked whether participants were strongly in favor, favored, or opposed gay marriage, and then broke participants down into categories based on age, race, religious views, and party leanings.
While divided, the bulk of adults in both political parties even support same-sex marriage. According to Jens Manuel Krogstad from Pew “A strong majority of LGBT adults of both parties favored allowing gays and lesbians to marry legally, with 78% of those who lean Republican saying they ‘strongly favor’ or ‘favor’ same-sex marriage compared with 96% who said the same among Democrats.”
Unmarried LGBT individuals are also more likely to support marriage, which comprises the bulk of those surveyed.
Of the participants, only 16% were married, a number which would likely be larger today since on 17 states allowed same-sex marriage in 2013 when the first part of the survey was conducted as opposed to the current 36 states.
Those with religious leanings are less likely to support same-sex marriage as well. 81% of religiously unaffiliated people said they strongly favored, while 67% of those claiming to have a religious affiliation are also strongly in favor.
A similar division is encountered with age differences. Of those surveyed between the ages of 18 and 29 about 82% were strongly in favor. Those 30 and older were 71% strongly in favor.
In terms of gender, more self-described gay men are against gay marriage than lesbians. 4% of gay men were against marriage equality, while only 2% of lesbians felt the same way. Bisexuals, a group comprised of 29% women and 11% men, had a surprisingly high percentage opposed, rounding out at 8%.
It’s worth noting the breakdown of individuals surveyed.
Since Pew uses the “veiled report” method it’s essentially impossible to connect a belief with the individual, and this type of anonymity is commonplace in studies of this nature. This is done in the hopes of coaxing a participant into being more truthful, an interesting idea when you consider by its very nature there’s no way to confirm the accuracy.
2500 individuals were recruited online, nixing thoughts of a random sample. These 2500 people were then split into two groups and answered questions anonymously on their own computers. They were asked 8 questions about personal sexuality and belief, the first 3 of which were used to place them into a division of LGBT. In the end the divisions broke down in interesting ways with bisexuals comprising 40% of the total. It’s unclear whether these individuals self-identified as bisexual or if some of the questions such as “whether they consider themselves heterosexual, whether they are sexually attracted to members of the same sex, and whether they have had a sexual experience with someone of the same sex,” were used to make assumptions.
While the sampling method may be far from perfect, there’s no denying the divisions in opinion it draws attention to are very interesting.
The most division in opinion was over the best way to achieve equality. In a nearly perfect split 51% of those surveyed said the best way to achieve equality was by becoming part of mainstream institutions like marriage, while the remaining believe maintaining a distinct culture to be a better solution.
This all raises a question as to where this disagreement in opinion stems from. The issue is a political one, albeit not in the way one may assume. LGBT individuals who are against same-sex marriage feel that the issue of marriage has taken attention away from other LGBT issues such as workplace/housing discrimination, and hate crime legislation.
A leading group on this matter, Against Equality (AE) told GayRVA back in 2013. “…People’s worth (should) not be determined by their marital status, that the military should not be seen as an arbiter of justice or social mobility, and that prisons be emptied of those whose fragile but potent existence calls capitalism itself into question.”
AE takes issue with how political groups such as the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) have handled LGBT rights. According to AE member Yasmin Nair, rights groups in the 80’s focused on things such as universal healthcare that would do more to help LGBT people than marriage equality, the movement they abandoned these ideas for in the 90’s.
“Once they passed (same-sex) marriage, many companies can look at their employees and say, ‘Since you can get married, we no longer have to recognize domestic partnerships,’ if that is how you got benefits,” said Nair.
Despite contention of ideals within the LGBT community about the best way to fight for equality, the opinion is still in favor of same-sex marriage, with Pew claiming an overall 9 out of 10 LGBT individuals are in support of marriage equality.
Tyler Hammel is a college student who has an unhealthy obsession with comic books. He’s a proud cinephile, owning a sizable film collection that lets you know he doesn't have any friends. An aspiring filmmaker, Tyler currently works with the VCU student organization The Horn RVA, a group of like-minded video journalists with a passion for Richmond based music. When not crafting his own bio Tyler can be found misusing commas,
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