Gay Marriage Study: 52% of Negative Tweets Cite ‘Religious Beliefs’ As Cause for Opposition

In the wake of last month’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling legalizing gay marriage nationwide, millions of people immediately took to social media to voice their opinions on the subject.  Reactions to the court saying that gay couples once and for all have the right to marry in all 50 states ranged from President Obama tweeting @BarackObama “Retweet to spread the word. #LoveWins,” to the MT Family Foundation @Montana Family tweeting “Tragically, the Supreme Court said today that either a Mom or a Dad is irrelevant to children.”

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A new data study has been released that examines the causes of gay marriage opposition on social media in the aftermath of the recent Supreme Court ruling. According to the new study by CrowdFlower, a data enrichment platform that collects, cleans, and labels big data, about 52% of the 25,000 tweets posted to Twitter following the Supreme Court announcement cited “religious beliefs” as a primary cause of opposition.

Additionally, about 19% of those tweeting cited ‘American values’ and 15% cited ‘general disgust’ of gay people as reasons for opposing same-sex marriage.

The CrowdFlower Same Sex Marriage Social Media Study also revealed that support of same-sex marriage outweighed criticism 4 to 1. Although overall Twitter sentiment was 55% positive, 32% neutral, and 13% negative, with neutral tweets excluded, positive opinions outweighed negative opinions 80% to 20%.

What’s more, women were more supportive than men. While 86% of women and 72% of men were in favor of the Supreme Court ruling, 14% of women and 28% of men opposed it.

The east coast had the most supporters. Massachusetts (96% approval), New Jersey (87.3% approval), and New York (86.8% approval) were most vocal in their support of the Supreme Court ruling. While Southern states had the most opponents. Although these three states still had more supporters than detractors, Alabama (50% disapproval), North Carolina (35.1% disapproval), and Virginia (31.5% disapproval) had the most naysayers.

Overall sentiment was positive in all states. For all states with a significant volume of tweets, the majority of sentiment was positive.