As the U.S. Supreme Court addresses the matter of same-sex marriage, Americans who are theologically and politically conservative continue to maintain their near unanimous opposition to the legalization of the practice. Various national public opinion studies indicate that somewhere between 51% to 61% of the general public supports the legalization of marriage between homosexuals. However, data from RightView surveys conducted by the American Culture & Faith Institute shows that SAGE Cons – those who are Spiritually Active, Governance Engaged Conservatives – maintain firm opposition to the same-sex marriage.

Specifically, 97% believe that marriage is only between a man and a woman. Further, only 17% believe that same-sex marriages that have been conducted should be considered to be legal and granted the same rights as marriages between heterosexual couples. More than four out of five SAGE Cons (83%) contend that such unions should not be legally recognized marriages.

SAGE Cons generally consider this to be a highly important issue. A RightView survey conducted in March among 2,066 of these conservatives discovered that a majority (62%) said that a candidate’s stand on marriage laws is a “non-negotiable” in determining their support or opposition to a candidate. Similarly, the same survey revealed that 71% of the segment deems a candidate’s views on marriage and family to be an “extremely important” component in determining whether to support a candidate, and another 21% said that position was “very important” in their candidate selection.

George Barna, who directed the survey, commented that despite the momentum in support of same-sex marriage, SAGE Cons consider the issue to still be in play. “Presidential candidates who are seeking the support of these conservatives would do well to understand that same-sex marriage is one of the four issues that is non-negotiable to more than 60% of the group. It is a critical issue for them, along with abortion, support for Israel, and protection of religious freedoms.”

The survey was conducted by the American Culture & Faith Institute, a division of United in Purpose – Education, based in Woodside, CA. The online survey, which was undertaken in March 2015, included responses from 2,066 SAGE Cons. That group is defined as individuals who are theologically and politically conservative, and are active in both faith and politics. The group constitutes 42% of the registered Republican voters in the nation and a majority of Republicans who turnout to vote. RightView surveys, which are conducted regularly, track the opinions, beliefs, and behavior of SAGE Cons throughout the nation.

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