Tuesday, May 14, 2013


Same-Sex Marriage Support Solidifies Above 50% in U.S.

PRINCETON, NJ -- Fifty-three percent of Americans now support same-sex marriages, in a third consecutive reading of 50% or above in Gallup polling over the past year. The 53% in favor ties the high to this point, also measured last November and in May 2011.
Gallup's May 2-7 poll suggests Americans' support for gay marriage is solidifying above the majority level. Recently, Rhode Island and Delaware legalized same-sex marriage, with Minnesota following yesterday which brings the total number of states legally recognizing same-sex marriage to 12.
Three years ago, support for gay marriage was 44%. The current 53% level of support is essentially double the 27% in Gallup's initial polling on same-sex marriage, in 1996.
According to the polling organisation, Democrats, independents, and liberals all show increasing support for same-sex marriage with each well above the fifty percent mark now.  Gallup also noted that Republicans, conservatives, and moderates are more likely to favor gay marriage now than in 1996, but the increase in support among these groups may have stalled. Thus, most of the increase in the percentage favoring legal gay marriage in the last three years has come among left-leaning groups politically.
One factor pointing to continued expansion of gay marriage support in the future is that young Americans are more likely than older Americans to favor it. That difference by age has always been apparent, and it persists today even though support has increased among all age groups over time.
Although a majority of Americans themselves support legal gay marriage, an even larger majority perceive that most Americans come down on the side of not legalizing it. When asked their impression of how most Americans feel about the issue, 63% say the public is opposed to gay marriage and 30% say the public favors it. These data suggest that a segment of Americans who support same-sex marriage believe that their views are in the minority, while in reality they are in the majority.
Members of groups most likely to support gay marriage themselves, such as young adults, Democrats, and liberals, are more likely to perceive that Americans are pro-gay marriage than members of groups who personally oppose it. But even Democrats and young adults are of the view that most Americans oppose gay marriage. Liberals are divided as to whether the public favors or opposes it.