So Much for Marriage Equality

A new poll says Americans have higher priorities this election year

While many LGBT voters will head to the polls to vote their conscience this year, supporting candidates who advocate for marriage equality, a new poll shows that most Americans have bigger priorities.

The Pew Research Center says that marriage equality and other social issues actually rank last among top concerns for voters this election year. And while that may be a bit of a let down for some, it also signals that it’s less of a “wedge” issue than many conservatives have hoped.

According to the poll, more than half of all Americans support marriage equality – while 85 percent also say their religious beliefs lead them to believe that LGBT people should be treated equally under the law.

“Americans care about job creation and providing for their families. This latest data reinforces the fact that supporting LGBT equality is not a divisive wedge issue, but rather just common sense,” says Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese. “Fair-minded people are increasingly aware that extending rights, benefits and protections to their LGBT neighbors strengthens the communities they live and work in. To suggest otherwise is a strategy that will fail with voters.”

The Pew poll identified the economy, jobs and the budget deficit as being among the most important to voters today. Other high-priority issues include healthcare, education, energy, taxes, terrorism and the environment.

“It’s important to remember that so much of what we’re fighting for – marriage equality, workplace protections, fair treatment when our loved ones are hospitalized – contributes to a strengthening of the issues voters care about the most,” says Solmonese.