PRINCETON, N.J., Oct. 10 (UPI) -- A majority of U.S. residents say they don't think the government should favor any set of values and a minority favors promoting traditional values, Gallup said.
Fifty-two percent of survey respondents said government shouldn't promote one set of values over another, while 44 percent said they believe the government should promote traditional American values, results of Gallup's annual Governance survey released Wednesday indicated.
It is the first time a majority said no one set of values should be promoted by government, Gallup said.
Since Gallup began asking about government's role in morality in 1993 through 2004, the majority of those asked favored government's promotion of traditional values, but views have become more mixed since, the Princeton, N.J., polling agency said.
The percentage favoring government promotion of traditional values has been as high as 59 percent, in early 1996 and in 2001, after the Sept. 11 terror attacks on the United States. Support for the traditional values position dipped below 50 percent in 2005, which pollsters said may have signaled a beginning of a new era on the matter, even though it rose above 50 percent in 2009 and 2010.
Gallup said the change may have been prompted in part by the unpopularity of the George W. Bush presidency and continued as the public accepted more permissive attitudes on certain issues such as gay rights and marijuana use.
Results are based on nationwide telephone interviews of 1,017 adults conducted Sept. 6-9. The margin of error is 4 percentage points.
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