At a crucial moment in the history of same-sex civil rights in America — when issues such as gay marriage and military service of openly gay people are being debated in Congress and fought over in courts — it appears that the tide of public opinion on the issue may be shifting.
A poll conducted by Pew Research Center has shown that the percentage of Americans who support the right for homosexual couples to be able to marry is increasing, though it is still smaller than the percentage of those who oppose it.
Specifically, a total of 42 percent favor same-sex marriage while 48 percent are against it. However, in 2009 the ratio was 37 to 54 percent, respectively.
Moreover, "the shift in opinion on same-sex marriage has been broad-based, occurring across many demographic, political and religious groups," the commentary accompanying the survey, which was published on the center's website, specified.
The results come on the heels of a controversy surrounding statements made at a meeting of leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS), or Mormons, earlier this month.
According to media reports, LDS Church apostle Boyd K. Packer said that legalizing gay marriage would sanction immorality. He also suggested that same-sex orientation can be changed through the power of faith.