Public Opinion and State Action on Same-Sex Marriage

Source: Gregory B. Lewis and Seong Soo Oh, State and Local Government Review, Vol. 40 no. 1, 2008
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From the abstract:
Studies of state gay rights, same-sex marriage, and sodomy laws find weak links to public opinion, despite repeated findings that state policies reflect citizens’ values, especially on morality policy. This study reexamines the link by testing new state-level measures of support for same-sex marriage using data on 69,000 respondents to 57 surveys and estimating the impact of that support on passage of legislative and constitutional bans in models that include general citizen liberalism, elite attitudes, interest group strength, and state innovativeness. Previous research has underestimated the impact of public opinion, which has the strongest influence on legislative bans in this model. The strength of evangelical Protestant groups appears to matter more for amending state constitutions.

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