Wednesday, August 4, 2010

US Federal Judge to Rule Today on Prop 8 Case in California

This is openly gay Us Federal Court Judge Vaughn Walker. Today he will make history when he issues his ruling in the Perry v. Schwarzenegger, the Prop 8 case in California. The decision will be released between 1pm and 3pm PDT.

As we await the decision, here is a Press Release with some very positive findings. Regardless of what Judge Walker says today...and we know there will be appeals all the way to the Supreme Court.......marriage equality for ALL is just a matter of time.

August 4, 2010
As Judge Rules on Prop. 8, New Survey Finds Prop. 8 Wouldn’t Pass Today

Comprehensive New Research Examines Religion Based Attitudes on Same-Sex Marriage

WASHINGTON, D.C. – As Californians await U.S. District Court Chief Judge Vaughn R. Walker’s ruling on the constitutionality of California’s Proposition 8, new research has found that a similar ballot measure would not pass today, and only one-in-five say the Proposition 8 was a “good thing” for the state.

The statewide public opinion survey, conducted in June and released last month by Public Religion Research Institute, also examined the role religion plays in structuring attitudes toward same-sex marriage and a range of other issues related to rights for gay and lesbian people.

“Our research shows a significant percentage of Californians, including people of faith across the California religious landscape, say they have become increasingly supportive of gay rights over the last five years,” said Dr. Robert P. Jones, CEO of Public Religion Research Institute. “If another vote similar to Proposition 8 were held now, a majority (51 percent) of Californians say they would vote to allow gay and lesbian couples to marry.”

Highlights of the PRRI research include:

 * If another vote similar to Proposition 8 were held tomorrow, a majority (51 percent) say they would vote to allow gay and lesbian couples to marry, compared to 45 percent who say they would vote to keep same-sex marriage illegal.

 * There are major religious groups on both sides of the debate over same-sex marriage in California. Solid majorities of Latino Catholics and white mainline Protestants, along with a majority of white Catholics, say they would vote to allow gay and lesbian couples to marry; while solid majorities of white evangelical Protestants, Latino Protestants, and African American Protestants say they would vote to keep same-sex marriage illegal.

*One factor in the growing support for same-sex marriage is the entrance of younger Californians into the voting age population. Nearly two-thirds (64 percent) of Californians under the age of 30 say they would vote to allow gay and lesbian couples to marry, compared to only 36 percent of Californians age 65 and older. These patterns persist across all major religious groups.

* Only one-in-five (22 percent) Californians believe the passage of Proposition 8 was a “good thing” for the state. Most Californians believe Proposition 8 was either a bad thing for California (29 percent) or believe it has not made any difference (45 percent).

* One-in-four Californians report that their views on rights for gay and lesbian people have become more supportive over the last five years, compared to only 8 percent who say they have become more opposed. Among religious groups, ethnic minority groups showed slightly more overall movement than white religious groups. Among black Protestants, twice as many report becoming more supportive as report becoming more opposed (27 percent vs. 13 percent); among Latino Catholics, that ratio is 3-to-1 (31 percent more supportive vs. 9 percent more opposed) over this period.

* An overwhelming majority of Californians, and majorities of all major religious groups except Latino Protestants, say they both favor laws that would protect gay and lesbian people from job discrimination and favor allowing gay and lesbian people to serve openly in the military (75 percent and 69 percent respectively). A majority (56 percent) of Californians favor adoption rights for same-sex couples.

* There is a striking Catholic-Protestant divide within the California Latino community on public policy issues related to gay and lesbian people. A majority of Latino Catholics (57 percent) say they would vote to allow gay and lesbian couple to marry, compared to just 22 percent of Latino Protestants.

 * Mainline Protestants are the only major religious group that is more likely to hear positive than negative messages about homosexuality from their clergy.

* The messages about homosexuality that Californians hear at their place of worship are correlated with their views on same-sex marriage. Among Californians who report hearing negative messages from their clergy, few (19 percent) support same-sex marriage. In contrast, among Californians who report hearing positive messages from their clergy, fully 6-in-10 say gay and lesbian people should be allowed to marry, an additional 22 percent support civil unions, and less than 1-in-5 (18 percent) say there should be no legal recognition for same-sex relationships.

“Our research confirms clergy and religious groups continue to play an influential role in policy debates about the rights of gay and lesbian people,” said Daniel Cox, Director of Research for Public Religion Research Institute. “But one of the most interesting findings in this survey was the significant number of respondents who report they would support allowing gay and lesbian couples to marry if the laws offer reassurances about their religious freedom concerns.”

The bilingual (Spanish and English) poll of 3,351 adults in California, including oversamples of 350 African Americans and 200 Latino Protestants, represents the most comprehensive portrait of religion and attitudes on same sex marriage and other gay and lesbian issues since Proposition 8 was approved. The survey was conducted among a random sample of Californians by telephone between June 14 and June 30, 2010, by Public Religion Research Institute and was funded by the Evelyn and Walter Haas, Jr. Fund with additional support provided by the Ford Foundation.

The full survey report and topline questionnaire, along with audio and transcript of the press conference, is available from the Public Religion Research Institute.

Public Religion Research Institute is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, nonpartisan, independent research and education organization specializing in work at the intersection of religion, values, and public life.

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