Thursday, February 16, 2012

More on Marriage!

The lead story in the National section of today's New York Times focuses on the debate over same-sex marriage in Maryland. The controversy is starting to heat up this week as legislators in Annapolis consider possible legislation. The story focuses on the concerns of African-American churchgoers in particular, highlighting a cultural dynamic that is particularly relevant given Maryland's demographic make-up. According to the article:

Maryland’s Democrats are sharply divided by race on the issue. A Washington Post poll published on Jan. 30 found that 71 percent of white respondents supported it, while 24 percent did not. Among blacks, 41 percent were supportive, while 53 percent were opposed. African-Americans are an important constituency here: their share of the population — 29 percent — is greater than in many Southern states, including Alabama and South Carolina, according to the Brookings Institution.

Those backing the bill hope the religious accommodations proposed in the legislation will help ease passage in the state legislature. 

Also of note is an interesting article in today's NYT on the changing demographics of marriage and family. According to the article and a 2010 Pew Report, Americans are starting to express more tolerant attitudes toward interracial marriages:

The more positive attitude toward intermarriage represents a sharp break from the recent past and parallels behavioral change: about 15 percent of new marriages across the country in 2010 were between spouses of different races or ethnicities, more than double the share in 1980. The researchers presented the acceptance of interracial marriage as “the fading of a taboo.”

Definitely some interesting public opinion data regarding marriage. Look for greater media coverage on both issues as debates over marriage and family heat up in Maryland, New Jersey, etc.

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