After years of steady and even dramatic increases in support, a new Pew survey has found support for same-sex marriage declining.
Pew found more Americans support same-sex marriage than oppose it, but that support had dropped five percentage points between February and September of this year. Pew says, “It is too early to know if this modest decline is an anomaly or the beginning of a reversal or leveling off in attitudes toward gay marriage after years of steadily increasing public acceptance.”
Perhaps significantly the survey also found that “fully half (50%) of the public now considers homosexuality a sin up from 45% a year ago. And nearly half of U.S. adults thin that businesses like caterers and florists should be allowed to reject same-sex couples as customers if the businesses have religious objections to serving those couples.” Pew did find that a slightly larger portion of respondents (47% to 45%) believe those business owners should be forced to serve said couples.
The political and cultural backdrop to the survey includes what seems like a galloping success rate for same-sex marriage in the courts, with almost weekly decisions going the way of same-sex marriage.
At the same time, the news of what many consider to be bullying against opponents of same-sex marriage may be having an effect. Shop owners are being prosecuted, and even top executives are losing their jobs over support for traditional marriage.
And the biggest news going against the same-sex movement this year was the report from the Center for Disease Control that the population of gays is America is not 25-30%, which was reported by the Gallup polling organization, or even 10%, which was believed for decades after the 1950s Kinsey sex report, but only 1.6%. It is possible that Americans are getting cautious about changing the definition of marriage for such a small portion of the population.