Attitudes toward Gay Marriage: The Influence of Sociodemographic Characteristics, Religious, and Political Attitudes

Stacey Brumbaugh, Bowling Green State University
Laura A. Sanchez, Bowling Green State University
Steven Nock, University of Virginia
James D. Wright, Central Florida University

This project explores contemporary attitudes toward gay marriage within the context of attitudes toward marriage and divorce reform. We explore three major theoretical perspectives about attitudes toward gay marriage. First, we explore the effects of sociodemographic characteristics on attitudes. Second, we explore the relationship between social, religious, and political attitudes and attitudes toward gay marriage. We explore the relationship between religiosity and political conservatism, attitudes about marriage and divorce, attitudes about the sources of blame for contemporary “family breakdown, and finally, attitudes toward strengthening marriage policy and marriage promotion and their effects on attitudes toward gay marriage. Third, we explore how marriage, cohabitation, and parenthood history influence support or opposition for gay marriage. We use data from a 1997 attitude survey conducted in Louisiana, Minnesota, and Arizona. The response rate was 67%. These states were at the forefront of marriage and divorce reforms in light of the 1996 TANF law.

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Presented in Poster Session 6