April 30, 2012
According to a survey by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, opposition to gay marriage is significantly lower in 2012 compared to the previous two presidential campaigns, the Religion News Service reports. For the first time, the level of strong support for gay marriage is equal to the level of strong opposition; 22 percent of Americans say they strongly favor gay marriage and 22 percent strongly oppose it. In 2008, strong opposition was twice as high as support -- 30 percent to 14 percent. In 2004, a year when several ballot measures to define traditional marriage helped propel social conservatives to the polls, opposition was more than three times higher -- 36 percent to 11 percent. This election cycle, as in other recent ones, voters say social issues like gay marriage and abortion are not as important as the economy and jobs. While more than 80 percent of Americans cite the economy and jobs as top voting issues, far fewer rated abortion (39 percent) and gay marriage (28 percent) as very important.