Americans Moving in a Libertarian Direction: More Back Gun Rights, Gay Marriage

Americans have made an about-face on gun ownership rights over the past 12 years and have become more supportive of gay marriage, a new opinion poll shows.


The results of the survey, conducted by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press in early April, suggest that on both issues, voters are drifting toward positions traditionally advocated by the Libertarian Party.


According to the poll, 49 percent of Americans now say it is more important for them to protect the right to own guns, compared to 45 percent who say it is more important to control gun ownership.


It is the opposite of the situation that existed in 2000, when 66 percent of those polled favored gun control and only 29 percent supported the right of individuals to own firearms.


On gay marriage, the poll showed that 47 percent of Americans now favored allowing gay and lesbian couples to marry legally, while 43 percent remained opposed.


In 2004, just 31 percent supported gay marriage, while 60 percent were opposed, according to the survey.


The Libertarian Party opposes laws that violate our right to defense of our own lives. The party has also traditionally supported the right of individuals to make free choices regarding their personal lives.


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