Poll shows increasing African-American support for gay marriage

Increasing African-American backing for gay marriage in the US states of Missouri and Pennsylvania

Poll shows increasing African-American support for gay marriage
03 June 2012

According a poll, Barack Obama’s new position on gay marriage is having a positive influence with African-American voters in key states.

As reported by Public Policy Polling, black voters in the mid-western US state Missouri are becoming more accepting of marriage equality.

‘African-American voters lead the spike in support for gay marriage after a complete turnaround from just four months ago,’ Public Policy reports. Fifty percent of Missouri African Americans think gay marriage should be legal, twice their level of support in January. Eighty-one of Missouri African Americans believe gay couples should either be allowed to marry or form civil unions, a 31-point upswing from the previous survey.’

This upswing replicates numbers in another 2012 election battleground state. At the end of last month, Public Policy found 39 percent of people living in the north-eastern state of Pennsylvania were pro-marriage equality; 48 percent against. However, last fall the numbers were more stark. ‘Only 36 percent of all Pennsylvanians thought gay marriage should be legal and 52 percent illegal.’

The turnaround was due to the seismic shift in black opinion. In the fall, blacks were heavily against it, 52 percent opposed compared to 34 for. Now, the numbers are virtually down the middle in support, 42 to 41.

‘We’ve now found in both North Carolina and Pennsylvania that black voters have moved more toward support of gay marriage in the wake of Barack Obama’s announcement,’ said Dean Debnam, president of Public Policy Polling. ‘The media’s been asking the wrong question- the big issue isn’t how Obama’s stance will affect his reelection hopes. It’s how Obama’s stance will move public opinion on gay marriage.’

Early last month Vice President Joe Biden made news by saying on NBC’s Meet the Press he favored same sex marriage. After much buzz, Obama announced he and the vice president were on the same page.

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