More than 70 percent of Americans say same-sex marriage should be legal, up from 27 percent in 1996 and matching last year’s percentage, a new Gallup News poll found.
“When Gallup first polled about same-sex marriage in 1996, barely a quarter of the public (27 percent) supported legalizing such unions. It would take another 15 years, until 2011, for support to reach the majority level,” according to the poll report. “Then in 2015, just one month before the U.S. Supreme Court’s Obergefell v. Hodges decision, public support for legalizing gay marriage cracked the 60 percent level. In 2021, it reached the 70 percent mark for the first time and has been there each of the past three years.”
Gallup has found an increase across all major subgroups over time in support for same-sex marriage. The report specified that majorities of all but two key subgroups — Republicans (49 percent) and weekly church goers (41 percent) — say gay marriages should be legally recognized.
Republican support for same-sex marriage has waffled around 50 percent since 2020 and reached slim majorities in 2021 and 2022. As for weekly church goers, Gallup News found that they are also more supportive of same-sex marriage than they have been in the past, but their level of support has remained steady since 2018.
Unsurprisingly, adults ages 18 to 29 (89 percent), Democrats (84 percent), and infrequent churchgoers (83 percent) are most likely to support legal same-sex marriage.
“Among many groups — including older adults, Protestants and residents of the South — perspectives on gay marriage have gone from majority opposition to majority support over the course of Gallup’s trend spanning more than a quarter of a century,” according to the poll report. “But two groups remain holdouts on the issue, with Republicans evenly divided on the legality of same-sex unions and weekly churchgoers maintaining their position against it.”
The survey was conducted from May 1-24 with 1,011 adults living in the U.S. The margin of sampling error is ±4 percent at the 95 percent confidence level.
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