I was checking out this Gallup poll: Americans, Including Catholics, Say Birth Control Is Morally OK.
That’s interesting, but what’s more, they provide a breakdown of what people think is okay and what’s not. Here’s the list.
Okay, so people mostly approve of birth control, divorce, and gambling, and they disapprove most of suicide, polygamy, and (for some reason) cloning humans. Singled out for special condemnation is people who have affairs, which is surprising because haven’t a lot of people done that? Gallup says that’s their most consistently disapproved item. Interesting.
But the best part is that they break it down by political tendency. This chart shows the same things, but it’s sorted by Republican minus Democrat approval. In other words, the top of the chart is things Democrats don’t approve of, but Republicans do (comparatively), and the bottom of the chart is stuff Republicans don’t like, but Democrats are like ‘meh’.
Top of the list of things Republicans like: the death penalty, medical testing on animals, and wearing fur. (Although I actually approve of medical testing on animals — not cosmetic testing.)
Cloning animals is a wash.
Most revealing, however, is the bottom of the list — the stuff that Democrats don’t mind, but that Republicans don’t approve of. I notice suicide — not many people like it, but GOPers slightly less. So let’s take a look at the issues that cut across the political divide more than suicide:
- Porn — I doubt the Republicans are using less porn than Democrats, but maybe they disapprove more while still looking at it.
- Sex between an unmarried man and woman
- Having a baby outside of marriage
- Gay or lesbian relations
In short, anything having to do with people having unauthorised sex. So really, Republicans don’t just hate gay sex — they hate straight sex too, if it’s not sanctioned by marriage. On the other hand, Democrats approve of unmarried straight sex about as much as they approve of (probably unmarried) gay sex — at 66% approval for both, it’s all the same to them.
Could this explain why conservatives are fighting gay marriage so hard? For them, marriage is what legitimises sex. So if gay people can get married, for them that’s like saying gay sex is okay. And for them, that’s not okay.
I’m trying not to read too much into these results, but this is an idea I hadn’t thought of before. Am I onto something?