- The Washington Times - Friday, May 30, 2014

The American public is becoming more tolerant on a range of moral issues, from premarital sex to euthanasia, although political persuasion plays a role in what kind of things are acceptable or not, according to a new poll.

Gallup said people expressed higher levels of acceptability on 12 of 19 major moral issues, including polygamy and divorce.

Birth control topped its list of “highly acceptable” topics, with 90 percent approving, while divorce (69 percent), premarital sex (66 percent) and embryonic stem cell research (65) were also on the high end of the ledger.

A good share of people were also OK with gambling (62 percent) and the death penalty (61 percent), according to Gallup.

Doctor-assisted suicide (52 percent) and abortion (42 percent) fell into the “contentious” category, while suicide (19 percent), cloning humans (13 percent) and married people having affairs (7 percent) are seen as highly unacceptable.

However, cloning and suicide came in at or near-record highs for acceptability, Gallup says.

Feelings fall into separate camps when political identification is factored in.

“Republicans, independents and Democrats have differing views of the morality of several issues,” the pollsters said. “Democrats are more likely than Republicans to consider issues like divorce, gambling, medical research using embryos and having a baby outside of wedlock morally acceptable. But Republicans are more likely than Democrats to see wearing fur, the death penalty and medical testing on animals as morally acceptable. Independents tend to fall in the middle of the two groups.”