Last week the website Politico reported a poll by the nonpartisan Public Religion Research Institute that shows evangelical support for gay marriage has more than doubled in the last 10 years.
According to numbers from the Pew Research Poll on Social and Demographic Trends released earlier this year, support for same-sex marriage has increased dramatically over the past decade. Now 68 percent of millennials (persons 18 to 34 in age) favor allowing gays and lesbians to legally marry, and 46 percent of baby boomer adults agree.
Yesterday, the Louisville Courier-Journal cited numbers from a Bluegrass Poll in 2004 that indicated 72 percent of registered voters in the commonwealth supported a ban on gay marriage. By this year, that poll shows the number had dropped to 55 percent.
2004 was the year Kentuckians approved an amendment to the state constitution to prohibit same-sex marriages. In February of this year, U.S. District Judge John Heyburn ruled that marriage ban violates the constitutional principle of equal protection. Recently, Heyburn issued a second marriage equality decision striking down Kentucky’s ban on same-sex unions.
Those two decisions and the appeal of Heyburn’s rulings, which will be argued before the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals in early August, was at the heart of Monday’s discussion on Kentucky Tonight. Our panel included Louisville lawyer Dan Canon; Lexington attorney Stan Cave; Martin Cothran, senior policy analyst for The Family Foundation of Kentucky; and Chris Hartman, director of the Fairness Campaign. Their discussion reveals how the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution is central to the argument on both sides of the debate.