New Poll Shows ‘Dramatic’ Rise in Support for Marriage Equality

On the eve of landmark oral arguments in front of the U.S. Supreme Court on the issue of marriage equality, a new ABC News/Washington Post poll has just been released which shows that a “significant majority” of Americans — 58% — say gay and lesbian couples should have the right to legally marry.

But there’s even more good news. From the ABC News report:

Most Americans, moreover, say the U.S. Constitution should trump state laws on gay marriage, a question now before the U.S. Supreme Court. And – in another fundamental shift – just 24 percent now see homosexuality as a choice, down from 40 percent nearly 20 years ago. It’s a view that closely relates to opinions on the legality of same-sex marriage.

Intensity of sentiment about gay marriage also shows considerable change in this poll, produced for ABC by Langer Research Associates. In 2004, strong opponents outnumbered strong supporters by a broad 34 percentage points. Today strong supporters are ascendant, outnumbering strong opponents by 11 points.

The article notes that support for same-sex marriage has risen by an astounding 11% just in the last three years. 72% of Democrats, 62% of independents, and 34% of Republicans support legalized marriage equality. The GOP number may seem small — and don’t get me wrong, it is — but that number represents an 18% increase since 2004. 44% of seniors are in favor of allowing same-sex couples to marry, an increase of over ten percentage points from just one year ago and more than 20 points higher than in 2004.

And this poll again confirms what I and many others have been saying for a long time: if one takes a generational view, marriage equality is a done deal. An astounding 81 percent of adults younger than 30 believe all loving and committed couples deserve the freedom to marry.

I can’t think of better, more encouraging news as the conscience of the nation once again turns to the question of whether or not gays and lesbians should be able to marry the person they love. Here’s hoping the justices of the Supreme Court choose to stand with the clear majority of Americans — and more importantly, on the right side of history — and vote to strike down the unconstitutional “Defense of Marriage Act” and California’s discriminatory Proposition 8.

Graphic by the amazingly talented Scott Wooledge.
Graphic by the amazingly talented Scott Wooledge.

5 comments

  1. Steve Jones

    I think that progressive churches like mine are helping educate their congregations on this issue. We became an “Open and Affirming” congregation in 1999, and we are growing in numbers because of it! While we have a fair number of LGBTQ people joining our church, the vast majority of growth comes from young straight couples who are starting families….they want their children raised not to be prejudiced against anyone. While we initially lost a good number of members over our vote, we gained 5 new members for each one that left us in the first year…and we continue to grow. I know there are other factors for the change in attitude, but thought I would put this thought out for consideration.

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