POLL: Support For Gay Marriage Dips

Via the Associated Press:

A survey released Monday from the Pew Research Center indicates American support for same-sex marriage could be leveling off after several years of dramatic growth in acceptance of equal rights for gays and lesbians. The study’s authors caution it’s too soon to draw any definitive conclusions. But the new poll released Monday found a 5 percentage point drop since February, from 54 percent to 49 percent, in Americans who want legal recognition for same-sex relationships. The percentage of those opposed increased during that same period, from 39 percent in February to 41 percent last month. The poll of 2,002 adults, conducted Sept. 2-9, has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.5 percentage points. “Since we’ve seen this upward trend for so long, we’re cautious because it’s too early to say what this means for long-term trends,” said Jessica Martinez, a researcher in Pew’s Religion and Public Life Project. “As we continue to ask this question in other surveys, we’ll keep an eye on where this moves.”

In addition to the dip in support for same-sex marriage, the percentage of Americans who consider homosexuality to be a sin increased by five points to 50%. Stand by for cartwheels from the right on both issues. The poll also suggests that Americans are more inclined to approve of mixing religion and politics.

Nearly three-quarters of the public (72%) now thinks religion is losing influence in American life, up 5 percentage points from 2010 to the highest level in Pew Research polling over the past decade. And most people who say religion’s influence is waning see this as a bad thing. Perhaps as a consequence, a growing share of the American public wants religion to play a role in U.S. politics. The share of Americans who say churches and other houses of worship should express their views on social and political issues is up 6 points since the 2010 midterm elections (from 43% to 49%). The share who say there has been “too little” expression of religious faith and prayer from political leaders is up modestly over the same period (from 37% to 41%).