There are some interesting statistics in a new Washington Post poll on marriage equality. The survey finds Washington D.C. residents overall support the recently approved marriage equality law 56-35 but there are racial and educational divides. A slim majority (51 percent) of blacks in the District oppose marriage equality but that changes based on education and church attendance.
Nearly six in 10 D.C. residents, including 83 percent of whites, favor making it legal for gay couples to marry. The broad support for same-sex marriage in the District's white community cuts across cultural lines that divide opinions on the matter nationally. Regular white churchgoers nationwide generally oppose same-sex marriage, but two-thirds of whites in the District who attend services monthly or more often support same-sex marriage.
African Americans tilt against same-sex marriage. Thirty-seven percent of black residents back legal same-sex marriage. A slim majority opposes it, and the bulk of opponents say they feel that way strongly. But some divisions are evident in the local black community on this issue, with sharp divides by church attendance and education.
One in five African Americans who attend church services weekly favor same-sex marriage, and support rises to 47 percent among those who attend less often. A narrow majority of black college graduates supports gay marriage, compared with about a third of African Americans with less formal education.
The poll indicates that council members Marion Barry (D-Ward 8) and Yvette M. Alexander (D-Ward 7) were representing their constituents' views when they became the only two members to vote against the same-sex marriage bill.
So approximately half of black DC residents that have a college degree or do not regularly attendance church support gay marriage. That's good news and trending with national averages.
The poll also finds that despite widespread acceptance, some 59 percent of residents would prefer to vote on the issue. But ... "If it lands on the ballot, however, the District would be well positioned to become the first state-level jurisdiction in the country where voters embraced same-sex marriage, according to the poll."