A new PEW Research Center poll shows a rise in support for civil unions to 57% ("Most Still Oppose Gay Marriage, but Support for Civil Unions rise," 9 Oct 2009).
The level of discrimination of homosexuals in the United States was found to surpass any other group. Of those polled, 64% think that gay and lesbian members of society are discriminated against more than "Muslims (58%), Hispanics (52%) or blacks (49%). Even fewer say there is a lot of discrimination against women (37%), evangelical Christians (27%), atheists (26%) or Mormons (24%)." When the respondents are broken down into respective categories, the numbers point out that "white evangelical and mainline Protestants (57% and 61%) and Catholics (60%) say there is a lot of discrimination, as do 69% of those who are unaffiliated with a particular religion". Additionally, the older one is, the view of discrimination is decreased, yet is still at 54%. Party affiliation is broken down with 74% Democrats, 59% Independents, and 58% Republicans.
On the issue of morality, 49% of the general public thinks homosexual behavior is morally wrong. "Among religious groups, 76% of white evangelical Protestants and 65% of black Protestants believe homosexuality is morally wrong; mainline Protestants (40%), Catholics (39%) and the unaffiliated (29%) are much less likely to take this view."
This brings to mind the age old dilemma--that which is moral is commanded by God because it is moral OR that which is moral is moral because it is commanded by God. Moral guidelines laid down by religions appear to have the goal that to follow the rules laid down by God on how to live will lead to oneness with God. So why is it that so many religions who worship the same God who laid down these rules to live by can be so diverse in their interpretations of those rules? Why is it that white evangelical Protestants and black Protestants are so absolute in their beliefs that they wish to impose on all their self-identified interpretations of those rules? Codified morality to prevent gay marriage or recognition of legal gay marriages blurs the founders' efforts to separate church from state.
The moral codes which are most readily quoted to oppose gay marriage were to aid in the survival and reproduction of the Hebrews, the Laws of Moses. Marriage is a civil right, is defined by law, is secular, and is a contract. The U.S. Constitution which many have sworn to support and defend against enemies foreign and domestic is under attack by those who are unwilling to respect the rights of others because of their different beliefs. Any who support DOMA (Defense of Marriage Act) reject the Constitution. Read Article 4, Section 1. If one is legally married in one state, then one should be married in all states since the marriage is a legal contract.