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e-Research: A Journal of Undergraduate Work

Authors

Brittney Baker

Abstract

The debate over same-sex marriage has been a prominent issue in our society over many years now, appearing in several ballot initiatives such as California's Proposition 8. The idea of allowing two people of the same gender to enter into the institution of marriage has brought out drastic emotions and reactions from many different groups of people. Those who engage in the debate believe strongly in their convictions; the two loudest voices tend to come from the gay community and the religious community, the former arguing in favor of same-sex marriage and the latter against it. Religious groups, predominantly from a Christian based faith, seem to be the single most influential force in the attempts to keep same-sex marriage illegal. Proposition 8 passed by a vote of 52% to 48%; according to one exit poll 81% of self-identified Evangelicals supported the proposition and those who say they attend church services weekly supported it by a vote of 84%. Compare this to the non-Christians who supported Proposition 8 by a much smaller margin of 15% and those who do not attend church regularly by a vote of 17%. In order to better understand the significance of these numbers, it is important to note that forty five percent of Californian voters say that they attend church services weekly, with an additional twelve percent of voters who attend church services at least once a month. This does not include the voters who also attend for religious holidays such as Christmas or Easter (Stone 2008). Thus these statistics represent a large portion of Californians, and thus a majority of voters.

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