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Support for legal same-sex marriage is strongly related to religion and partisanship. Black Americans, who tend to be Democratic and highly religious, are particularly cross-pressured on this issue.

The Alabama Supreme Court on Tuesday ordered probate judges in that state to stop issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples, defying a U.S. District Court ruling that had overturned Alabama's ban on such marriages.

The two major decisions recently handed down by the U.S. Supreme Court have very direct relationships to public opinion. One of the decisions fits well with majority public opinion. The other, in a broad sense, does not.