Until public opinion do us part : an examination of race and religion in the formation of public opinion about same-sex marriage
Thesis (M.P.P.)--Georgetown University, 2010.; Includes bibliographical references.; Text (Electronic thesis) in PDF format. This paper examines the factors that contribute to a person's likelihood of supporting same-sex marriage. Of the many factors that play a role in a voter's support for legalizing same-sex marriage, race has been recently featured as the most prominent. A racial gap exists with regard to public opinion about same-sex marriage; however the racial difference in opposition to same-sex marriage is a function of religion. Opposition to same-sex marriage is positively related to the strength of a person's religious commitments. Using national level public opinion data, this paper examines what factors are the most important in determining whether one supports or opposes same-sex marriage. While a number of factors influence the racial gap in opposition to same-sex marriage, religion plays the most important role in determining whether a person, black or white, is opposed to same-sex marriage. Incorporating several different measures of religious commitment within a model, this paper examines how important a factor religion is in public opinion about same-sex marriage and what effect religious commitments have on the racial gap in relation to public opinion on the issue.
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