News

30 Percent of Americans Still Oppose Same-Sex Marriage 

Black Americans and white evangelicals have lower support than Republicans.The Supreme Court in 2015 ended the debate about same-sex marriage legality after it had dominated the state legal and culture battles of the late aughts and early 2010. It quickly became a point of contention that was no longer politically relevant. You might think that Americans aren’t concerned about same-sex marital relationships outside their religious community. The Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI), however, has released a disturbing survey that shows otherwise.

PRRI surveyed 30 percent of respondents who still believe that homosexual and lesbian couples should not be permitted to wed. Only Republicans see this increase to half of the total. Yikes.

The good news: 68 per cent of respondents support same-sex marital rights, and that number is steadily rising. Just 54 percent of respondents supported same-sex marriage in 2014; this figure has been steadily rising. It jumped to 58% in 2016, 61% in 2017 and 67% in 2020. In 2014, the support of Republicans increased to 35 percent.

With almost 60% of Americans 65 years and older saying that same-sex marriage should become legal, support has grown among Americans. Among those aged 50–64, support was at 64 percent, jumping to 72 percent for those aged 30–49 and 76 percent for those aged 18–29.

These figures are derived from PRRI. American Values AtlasA series of surveys that examine public attitudes each year. A total of 226.12 adults participated in the sample for 2021.

PRRI reports that almost all major racial or ethnic groups in America support gay marriage.

The lowest level of support was among black Americans (59%). Sixty-nine per cent of white Americans favor same-sex marital.

Many major religions have large numbers of supporters. It includes white Catholics (74%) and Catholics with color (80%), Jewish Americans (83%), Catholics from other races (77%) and black Catholics (55%), Orthodox Christians (58%), Hindus (86%), Buddhists (81%) as well as Muslims (55%).

Latter-day Saints (46%), white evangelical Protestants (35%), and Jehovah’s Witnesses (22%) were the only major religious groups that did not have majority support.

PRRI’s survey includes information on the anti-discrimination laws regarding sexuality and gender as well as refusals to provide services for religiously motivated people. The complete results can be found here.

The majority of respondents to our survey supported nondiscrimination laws more than they were for same-sex marital.

Nearly eighty-nine percent of Americans support laws to protect transgender, gay, bisexual and lesbian people against discrimination at work, in public accommodation, in housing. We are strongly convinced Support them. Only seven percent of Americans oppose these laws (20%) We are strongly convinced They should be opposed. These protections have received increasing support over the years. Seven in ten Americans favored nondiscrimination provisions in 2015, 2017, 2017 (70%), 2018, (69%), 2019 (72%), and 2020 (76%).

Nearly three quarters of respondents opposed the “religiously-based” refusal to provide gay or lesbian services. This survey didn’t go deeper than that to determine if the refusal related to gay marriages (as some of those cases have been), or if it was just refusing to service LGBTQ people.


FREE MINDS

Research in neuroscience is largely suspectAccording to recent research, it is. Because there were too few participants, the results of majority studies don’t hold up. reports the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, citing new research published on March 16 in the journal Nature.

Using publicly available data sets – involving a total of nearly 50,000 participants – the researchers analyzed a range of sample sizes and found that brainwide association studies need thousands of individuals to achieve higher reproducibility. Typical brainwide association studies enroll just a couple dozen people.

Such so-called underpowered studies are susceptible to uncovering strong but spurious associations by chance while missing real but weaker associations. Routinely underpowered brainwide association studies result in a glut of astonishingly strong yet irreproducible findings that slow progress toward understanding how the brain works, the researchers said.

The study was spurred by two researchers who couldn’t replicate their own relatively large (1,000 kids) study. The median sample size in published neuroscience papers is 25.

“We were interested in finding out how cognitive ability is represented in the brain,” said Scott Marek, a psychiatry instructor at Washington University. “We ran our analysis on a sample of 1,000 kids and found a significant correlation and were like, ‘Great!’ But then we thought, ‘Can we reproduce this in another thousand kids?’ And it turned out we couldn’t. It just blew me away because a sample of a thousand should have been plenty big enough. We were scratching our heads, wondering what was going on.”

So Marek and a team of other researchers from Washington University and the Masonic Institute for the Developing Brain at the University of Minnesota started looking at neuroimaging datasets and attempting to replicate results.

“Our findings reflect a systemic, structural problem with studies that are designed to find correlations between two complex things, such as the brain and behavior,” said senior author Nico Dosenbach, an associate professor of neurology at Washington University. “It’s not a problem with any individual researcher or study. It’s not even unique to neuroimaging. The field of genomics discovered a similar problem about a decade ago with genomic data and took steps to address it.”


FREE MARKETS

Democrats seek greater powers for antitrust enforcers and an end to the consumer welfare standard. New legislation from Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D–Mass.) and Rep. Mondaire Jones (D–N.Y.) would let antitrust enforcers with the Federal Trade Commission and the Department of Justice break up companies and block mergers without a court order. The terribly illiberal bill—dubbed the Prohibiting Anticompetitive Mergers Act—would let the DOJ and the FTC retroactively reject mergers that were already approved if they “materially harmed” competition or led to a market share above 50 percent. The bill effectively does away with the prevailing consumer welfare standard for antitrust enforcement, which relies on considering whether business antics actually harm consumers. The nonsensical replacement standard would consider whether activity harms competitors—a.k.a. exactly what business is meant to do.

The Prohibiting Anticompetitive Mergers Act would also automatically block mergers valued at more than $5 billion, those resulting in highly concentrated markets, or those resulting in market shares above a certain threshold.

“The proposal is backed by a coalition of progressives in both chambers, including Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Alexandria Ocasio Cortez (D-N.Y.), and follows a series of proposals introduced in Congress targeting the market power of tech giants,” reports The Hill. But the bill does not yet have any Republican co-sponsors.


QUICK HITS

• In the three weeks since Russia invaded Ukraine, at least 7,000 Russian soldiers have been killed, per a U.S. intelligence estimate.

• The Federal Reserve has approved an interest rate hike—the first in three years—of a quarter percentage point. It stated in Wednesday’s statement that the Federal Open Market Committee anticipates continued increases.

• Why is the U.S. so slow in processing Afghan refugees?

• Mississippi has passed a ban on critical race theory in education: