Examining Support for Same-Sex Marriage and Civil Unions: The Impact of Personal Network Diversity
Public support for policies extending civil liberties to gays and lesbians has increased in recent years, including making available some spousal-like benefits through the establishment of civil unions in some locales, yet most Americans remain opposed to allowing same-sex couples to marry. Using a multinomial logit regression model to examine the attitudes and characteristics of Americans recently interviewed for the Citizenship, Involvement and Democracy survey, emotional affect and demography were found to be significant predictors of support for any form of same-sex relationship recognition. Furthermore, individuals whose personal social networks were religiously diverse were more likely to support civil unions than were those whose close friends were primarily of the same religion. However, political diversity in the personal network tended to decrease support for relationship recognition. The findings also suggest that same-sex civil unions, full marriage and no legal recognition are distinct policy alternatives with different factors contributing to their support.
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