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Don't expect many more states to legalize same-sex marriage

A new Gallup poll shows that Americans have become far more tolerant of gay and lesbian relations. The poll, which measures tolerance of a series of moral behaviors, shows a 19% increase in the acceptance of gay and lesbian relations since 2001, to the current level of 59%. While this change correlates with the huge increase in the number of states across the country allowing gay marriage, the data shows high regional differences, suggesting that more socially conservative states are unlikely to see changes any time soon.

The trend of accepting same-sex marriage has been evident in state legislatures, where the number of states approving same-sex marriage has doubled to 14 since election day 2012. While one would expect this trend to continue, opposition at the state level and state constitutional bans will make it difficult for the same-sex marriage cause to progress. For example, in Kentucky nearly two-thirds oppose same-sex marriage, and in Louisiana support is at a low 29%.

The issue, therefore, is progressing mainly on a regional basis with the Northeast seeing fast-growing support, and with Southern states lagging far behind. Most recently, a judge in Texas cited the state’s morality clause to ban a gay couple from living together as part of a custody agreement since the mother is forbidden to have anyone she is dating or is intimate with be at her home with her two children after 9 pm.

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