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Gay marriage bans: Poll data literally all over the map

We noted in a recent blog post the frenetic activity across the country focused on legal challenges to states’ bans on gay marriages (please see our entry dated May 29, 2014). We informed readers in that article that, while a growing number of states are legalizing gay marital unions, Georgia is not one of those states.

In fact, Georgia banned same-sex marriages in 2004 pursuant to voters’ passage of an amendment to the state constitution. Additionally, state law bars gay marriages.

Georgia is far from being alone in that strong stance against same-sex marriages. In fact, and as noted by a recent article by the national polling organization Gallup, “All southern states have constitutional bans on same-sex marriages.”

Despite that unified implacability, that doesn’t mean that those bans are unassailable. They are currently under challenge in Arkansas and Kentucky.

And, as we noted in the above-cited blog entry, the issue of gay marriage is currently before a Georgia court, as well, with a gay rights group having filed a federal lawsuit earlier this year challenging the state’s ban.

Amidst all the judicial activity and activism that presently surrounds gay marriages across the country is what Gallup notes as a discernible trend, notwithstanding variances in views in select states.

That trend unmistakably signifies this: When Americans weigh in nationally, their growing support for same-sex unions is clearly on display.

When Gallup first gauged public opinion on the subject in 1996, slightly more than one-quarter of polled respondents said that they supported the legalization of gay marriage. When the poll was conducted again in 2004, that number had risen to 42 percent. Gallup now estimates that approval nationally stands at about 55 percent.

Clearly things are changing, even in the South, where Gallup states that gay marriage -- while still facing stiff challenges -- is now supported by nearly half of all poll respondents.

Gay marriage rights are unquestionably a key topic on the national agenda presently. We will be sure to keep our readers timely apprised of material developments that occur in Georgia and elsewhere across the country.

Source: Gallup Politics, “Same-sex marriage support reaches new high at 55%,” Justin McCarthy, May 21, 2014

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