Poll: More Than Half of Americans Say They Support Gay Marriage, a Milestone

According to a recent ABC News/Washington Post poll, Americans who believe same-sex marriage should be legal are now in the majority. It's a slim majority, yes, but it's also a milestone, as the poll is the first from ABC/WaPo to show gay marriage supporters outnumbering opponents.


From a low of 32 percent in a 2004 survey of registered voters, support for gay marriage has grown to 53 percent today. Forty-four percent are opposed, down 18 points from that 2004 survey.

The issue remains divisive; as many adults "strongly" oppose gay marriage as strongly support it, and opposition rises to more than 2-1 among Republicans and conservatives and 3-1 among evangelical white Protestants, a core conservative group. But opposition to gay marriage has weakened in these groups from its levels a few years ago, and support has grown sharply among others – notably, among Catholics, political moderates, people in their 30s and 40s and men.

Gay marriage critics are dismissing the poll's findings, of course. (National Organization for Marriage president Brain Brown says he takes issue with the working of the poll.)

But not even the NOM can deny that growing support for gay marriage is a trend. Freedom to Marry president Evan Wolfson told the Post, "This is very consistent with a lot of other polling data we’ve seen and the general momentum we’ve seen over the past year and a half. As people have come to understand this is about loving, committed families dealing, like everyone, with tough times, they understand how unfair it is to treat them differently.”

AlterNet / By Lauren Kelley

Posted at March 18, 2011, 6:32am

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