Poll: Most Pennsylvanians cool with gay marriage

    A solid majority of Pennsylvanians now support same sex marriage according to a new poll.

    The Muhlenberg College survey of 500 Pennsylvanians found 62 percent believe same sex marriages should be legally recognized and granted the same rights as traditional marriages.

    This one of those stories that isn’t surprising, but kind of is. We’re used to the fact that tolerance of same sex couples has risen a lot, and a raft of court decisions have more or less settled the marriage question.

    But still, Pennsylvania has one of the oldest populations in the country, and many are wed to traditional values, so the fact that we approve of gay and lesbian marriage by a 62 to 36 percent margin is noteworthy.

    The Muhlenberg survey was done for Allentown Morning Call, which often impresses me with its coverage of state politics and policy.

    Poll director Chris Borick said opinions so vary with age.

    “Among younger Pennsylvanians, those under 30, it’s about an 80 percent approval rate for same sex marriage,” Borick told me. “For older Pennsylvanians, seniors in the state it’s much lower.”

    But Borick said attitudes have changed among all age groups as more people interact with gay and lesbian couples. A federal judge overturned the state’s same sex marriage ban last spring.

    The poll also looked at attitudes toward marijuana laws, and found respondents pretty divided. A third support legalizing marijuana, 36 percent are opposed, and 29 percent don’t support or oppose legalization.

    You can read more on its findings here.

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