Marriage equality soars in popularity among African-Americans since Obama announcement

Posted on 25 May 2012 at 4:00pm

President Barack Obama

A new Washington Post/ABC News poll found that President Barack Obama’s announcement in support of same-sex marriage has had a major impact on African-Americans.

Before Obama made his statement, 41 percent of African-Americans said same-sex marriage should be legal. In a poll released today, 59 percent said they support marriage equality. Since Obama made his statement, the NAACP passed a resolution in favor of marriage equality and a number of hip-hop artists have announced their support.

Opposition to same-sex marriage also hit a new low, according to a related Washington Post/ABC News poll. Only 39 percent said same-sex marriage should be illegal.

Of those polled, 23 percent said Obama’s statement was a major reason to oppose his re-election, 20 percent said it was a major reason to support his re-election, and 55 percent said it was just not a major factor.

A University of Texas/Texas Tribune poll in February looked at how Texans view same-sex marriage. According to that poll, 51 percent of African-American Texans support some form relationship recognition — either marriage or civil unions. Relationship recognition is supported by 62 percent of whites and 65 percent of Hispanics.

The UT/Tribune poll found that the less religious Texans are, the more likely they are to support equality. Only 30 percent of those who go to church more than once a week support same-sex marriage or civil unions. That number increases to 44 percent among those who attend once a week to 77 percent support for those who never attend.

By party, 67 percent of those who lean Democratic support same-sex marriage and another 17 percent support civil unions. Only 7 percent of “strong Republicans” and 13 percent of those who lean Republican support marriage equality. But 40 percent of those labeled strong Republicans support civil unions.

Support also increases as the level of education increases. Only 21 percent of high school dropouts and those with a high school degree support marriage equality. Those with a two-year degree support marriage by 35 percent. Four-year college graduates support marriage by 38 percent and post-grads by 46 percent. Civil union support adds about 30 percent to each of those categories.

And support for some form of relationship recognition is more popular popular among Texas men than women by 2 percent.

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