gay marriage, public opinion, authoritarianism, tolerance, traditionalism, gay rights
This research aims to answer a simple question: Why are some individuals, and some states, more willing to extend protections to same-sex couples than are others? Drawing from the literature, I perform a battery of quantitative tests on variables most commonly associated with gay rights and gay marriage policy development: liberalism, education, age, religiosity, authoritarianism, tolerance, urbanization, and moral traditionalism. While I find that all of these variables have a relationship with gay rights and gay marriage opinion, I argue that those associated with religiosity have the strongest pull. However, religiosity does not act alone; moral traditionalism, age, and ideology play particularly robust roles as well. In conclusion, I contend that the data show a strong likelihood for the continued liberalization of gay rights and gay marriage policy into the foreseeable future.
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Master of Arts (M.A.)
College of Health and Public Affairs
Length of Campus-only Access
Masters Thesis (Open Access)
Billman, Jeffrey, "Marriage For Some: Explaining The Variation In Gay Rights And Marriage Policy And Opinion Among States And Individuals" (2010). Electronic Theses and Dissertations, 2004-2019. 4381.