Main | Wednesday, September 02, 2009

File Under: Truths We Find Self-Evident

A study conducted by the University of Florida finds that education level is five times more predictive of support for marriage equality than race. But you knew that, didn't you my gentle kittens?
The education level of Florida voters, not race, best predicted support for the state's gay marriage ban, according to a new University of Florida study rebutting conventional wisdom. The study found education was about five times as important as race in determining whether a county's residents favored the ban. The results contradict claims that newly registered black voters who cast ballots for Barack Obama were a socially conservative group that can be credited with passing the ban.

"They are movable in terms of this issue," said Dan Smith, a political science professor and study co-author.Nearly 62 percent of Florida voters cast ballots in favor of Amendment 2, which amended the state constitution to define marriage as a union between a man and woman. At the same time, about 51 percent of the state's voters supported Obama in the presidential election. Controlling for political and socioeconomic factors, the study found each additional 1 percent of a county's population with bachelor's degrees correlated with a 1 percent decrease in support for the amendment. In comparison, each 1 percent increase in a county's black population led to two-tenths of a percent increase in support. "There's a lot of evidence showing increased education leads to greater tolerance," Smith said.
The short version: smarter people support civil rights for all.

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