(Photo: REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque)
A new poll has found that President Barack Obama's recent endorsement of same-sex marriage has not really swayed the opinion on gay marriage in the country, though it has solidified both sides of the debate in their stance.
The Associated Press-GfK survey found that Americans remain divided on gay marriage – 42 percent support the traditional definition of marriage as between one man and one woman, 40 percent are in favor of same-sex marriage, while 15 percent are neutral.
Americans were similarly divided last year, before Obama made his endorsement (45 percent opposed and 42 percent favored). The only difference this time is that Democrats and liberals support the president even more in the way he has handled issues on homosexuality.
Republicans largely remain opposed to changing the definition of marriage, however.
"Marriage is a marriage, and it's between a man and a woman," said John Von Sneidern, a 76-year-old Republican from Fairfield, Conn., who responded to the AP poll. "But on the other side of that, there are a lot of gay couples who are responsible and dedicated to each other and deserve a lot of the benefits of marriage," he added, sharing that he plans to vote for GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney in the general election this November.
"It's not marriage," said 65-year-old social conservative Bethel Hissom of Knoxville, Tenn. "It will probably help his chances at being re-elected. It will get the gay population in favor of that and that could swing votes to his favor. But it is not marriage," she remarked on Obama's endorsement.
Some Democrats, however, see opposition to same-sex marriage as playing politics over respecting people's rights.
"They fight him every step of the way and talk about things that don't matter, like gay marriage," offered Katherine Galdarisi, a 67-year-old Democrat from Sacramento, Calif.
"It's none of anybody's business," she added. "It doesn't affect me in the least."
Democrats and liberals still want more from the president when it comes to affirming same-sex marriage in the country, however. A year before Obama's gay marriage endorsement in May, only 26 percent of Democrats and 28 percent of liberals were satisfied with his handling of gay marriage in the country. Those numbers are up to 41 and 48 percent, respectively, though as the statistics show, most respondents still want Obama to do more for gay rights.
The reverse figures are true for Republicans – 53 percent of Republicans disapprove of the way Obama has handled same-sex marriage as opposed to 45 percent last year, and 52 percent of conservatives disagree now, up from 43 percent before his endorsement.
The Associated Press-GfK Poll surveyed by phone 1,007 adults nationwide, including 878 registered voters, June 14-18, 2012.