A Gay Shift


U.S. PRESIDENT Barack Obama's support for same-sex marriage has been described as an act of great moral courage, but the praise is somewhat exaggerated. There's no question the president's declaration was an important watershed moment in American history, but the facts suggest he is not taking a huge political risk.

Americans today are roughly divided on the question of same-sex marriage, but the trend is moving in favour of gay rights.

A Pew Research Center poll released Thursday, for example, shows 22 per cent of those polled strongly support gay marriage rights, while an equal number are opposed. Eight years ago, 36 per cent were strongly opposed, while just 11 per cent were strongly in favour.

Other American polls have shown blacks and Hispanics and residents of southern states are more likely to oppose gay marriage, but those demographics are not a great threat to Mr. Obama's bid for re-election.

President Obama has previously opposed same-sex marriage rights (while supporting civil unions), but his opposition was largely perceived to be politically motivated. …

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A Gay Shift
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