Infographic: The Math Behind The Controversy of Gay Marriage

There are many red-button issues in the political landscape today, but few burn as brightly and intensely as gay marriage. Whether you are for against the issue, the arguments can become heated very quickly. However, before you jump onto either side of the fence, it is critical to consider some of the facts when it comes to gay marriage. There is plenty of hype and false rumors concerning what is at stake for gay marriage in states all across the country. Having any kind of understanding of what the general consensus of the population is on this issue definitely requires taking a look at the statistics and the people behind the numbers.

At this point in time, 11 states allow same-sex marriage. These include Washington, Maine, Iowa, Delaware, and Connecticut. By August of this year, that number will rise to 13 as Minnesota and Rhode Island join the lineup. On the opposite side of the coin, 35 states have banned gay marriage based on laws in their state constitution. There are also places that have virtually no laws concerning the issue whatsoever. New Jersey and New Mexico have not banned the practice, however, there are no laws on the books that allow for same-sex marriage either.

States that have not taken the leap in allowing gay couples to marry are taking smaller steps by allowing for civil unions. Under the civil union laws, couples retain all the rights granted by a conventional marriage outside of federal benefits. States in this camp include Colorado, Hawaii, and Illinois. The number of supporters for gay marriage is slowly increasing with time as well. In 1996, the number of individuals polled who were in favor of the proposition was only at 27 percent. In 2010, that number had risen to 44 percent. Today, 53 percent of individuals participating in the Gallop poll are in favor of same-sex marriage.

The number of individuals in favor of gay marriage is also closely tied to age. Older generations tend not to be in support of this issue. Only 41 percent of people age 65 and over are in favor of gay marriage while 70 percent of people between the ages of 18 and 29 are in favor of same-sex marriage. There are also strong ties to political affiliations that play a role in people’s opinions. 80 percent of liberals support gay marriage. Just behind the liberals are democrats, with 69 percent in favor. The least supportive groups are the republicans and conservatives, with only 26 and 28 percent, respectively, in favor of same-sex marriage.

Source: Best Counseling Degrees