Lower support for death penalty tracks with falling crime rates, more exonerations
Over the past half-century, public support for the death penalty has generally tracked increases and declines in rates of violent crime.
Support for gay marriage up among black Protestants in last year, flat among white evangelicals
New Pew Research Center data from 2014 show that just within the past year, growing shares of some Christian groups favor allowing gay and lesbian couples to marry.
Many See Belief in God as Essential to Morality
In 22 of 40 countries surveyed, majorities think it is necessary to believe in God to be a moral person, but this view is more common in poorer countries than in wealthier ones.
61% of young Republicans favor same-sex marriage
Today, 61% of Republicans and Republican leaners under 30 favor same-sex marriage while just 35% oppose it. By contrast, just 27% of Republicans ages 50 and older favor allowing gays and lesbians to marry.
Millennials in Adulthood
Racially diverse, economically stressed and politically liberal, Millennials are building their own networks through social media – rather than through political parties, organized religion or marriage. Half now call themselves political independents, the highest share of any generation.
Arizona bill sparks debate about religious objections to gay marriage
The bill would allow business owners to cite religious beliefs as a reason for denying services – including to same-sex couples – without fear of legal retribution.
More hate crimes motivated by victims’ ethnicity
In about half of the cases of reported hate crimes, victims believed their ethnic background motivated the offender.
Support for death penalty drops among Americans
More than half of Americans favor the death penalty for persons convicted of murder, down from 78% in 1996.
Gay rights in Russia and the former Soviet republics
The upcoming Winter Olympic Games in Sochi have cast a spotlight on a recently-enacted Russian law banning the distribution of gay “propaganda” to minors. However, among the 15 countries that used to comprise the Soviet Union, Russia is not the only state to restrict LGBT rights.
Russia’s moral barometer: Homosexuality unacceptable, but drinking, less so
Nearly three-quarters of the Russian population (72%) think that homosexuality is morally unacceptable, with only 18% saying it is acceptable or not a moral issue.