Support for Marriage Equality Hits 60%

As the Supreme Court prepares to issue a ruling on whether gay couples can get married nationwide, Gallup’s tracking poll on public support for marriage equality continues to show greater acceptance and support. The most recent poll shows 60% of Americans support marriage equality, with 37% opposed.

Sixty percent of Americans now support same-sex marriage, as the Supreme Court prepares to rule on its constitutionality next month. This is up from 55% last year and is the highest Gallup has found on the question since it was first asked in 1996.

Public support for the legality of same-sex marriage first reached a majority in 2011, when 53% supported it. Since then, support has ranged from 48% to 55%. The five-percentage-point increase in this year’s Values and Beliefs poll, conducted May 6-10, is the largest year-to-year climb since 2011, when support rose by nine points.

Support for the legality of gay marriages in the U.S. has been a fast-changing trend. Just two decades ago, only 27% of Americans backed gay marriage, while 68% opposed. By 2005, the percentage in favor had increased by 10 points to 37%, and by 2010 it had reached 44%.

You can see the trend in this chart:


It really is a remarkable shift in public opinion in a very short period of time. That’s one of the benefits of a tracking poll rather than an occasional one, you get to see the trends using the same questions and the same methodology.

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  • brucegee1962

    I already can’t wait to watch all the Republicans squirm and dance and mumble when they get asked questions about this — it’s such a loser issue for them. I suppose we’ll hear eighteen different versions of “States Rights” when the question gets asked.

  • John Pieret

    Partly this rapid change was. I think, due to gays deciding to come out and straight people finding out that they had family and friends who were gay and realizing they are people too. But I also suspect that the absolute hatred and vilification of gays by the religious right also played a part in showing how irrational the opposition to same-sex marriage was and is.

  • eric

    @1: it’ll be interesting to see how they handle it. A few months ago I would’ve said they would completely ignore the issue in the primary and go with “the courts have ruled; I’ll abide by it and thus its no longer a policy issue” in the general. That’s the impression Christie and Walker gave early on. Now it looks like some of the more right-leaning candidates are going to make SSM a primary issue, even if the moderates don’t want to talk about it and even if the national party would prefer they didn’t.

    I don’t think they’ll mumble anything consistent – states rights or not. They’ll swing right in the primary, saying they’ll fight the courts on it, and then the winner will swing toward the middle during the general, saying he/she will respect the court’s decision. If Huckabee can make it a primary issue, then the “position” I would expect to see is “blatant flip-flopping.”

  • busterggi

    Its as if people born around 1990 and raised in an internet world of free information are somehow turning out different than their predecessors and influencing society.

  • Modusoperandi

    Typical Liberals! You’re all for “minority rights” when it’s Urban Americans (*wink wink*) and Muslins, but now, when us Moral Americans are the minority you’re all too happy to force your majority down our throats!

  • amadan

    Polling under way for the last 9.5 hours here in Ireland on the Marriage Equality referendum. A lot of the Irish disapora are coming home to vote.

    There’s a pretty strong indication that turnout is higher than usual, particularly in urban areas. Good omens!

    I shall cook lasagne tonight as a propitiatory offering to the One True Deity: results should be apparent from exit polls about an hour after polls close at 10:00PM.

  • llewelly

    they’ve been using the issue to drum up votes and donations for years, but now it’s going to take votes away.

    but they won’t let go of it easily, because they’re bigots, and they need votes (for the Republican primaries) and donations from other bigots.

  • carpenterman

    But it’s important to remember that public support for gay marriage has (or should have) nothing to do with the court’s ruling. Their decision should be based strictly on such questions as equal protection under the law, compelling reasons (if any) for the state to deny such protections, and other issues as they pertain to the Constitution. Civil rights must not be based on whether or not they’re popular.

  • whheydt

    Re: carpenterman @ #8…

    While all of that is true, it doesn’t stop SCOTUS justices from checking polls to see fi there is sufficient cover to move forward. SCOTUS *rarely* leads the way.

  • amadan


    Early referendum count tallies indicate >65% in favour of Marriage Equality!