A majority of Americans support marriage equality for the first time ever in a Gallup poll, according to new data released this morning. This is the third national poll in the past two months that shows more Americans supporting marriage equality legislation than opposing it.
The poll surveyed a nationally representative sample of over 1,000 American adults, asking them whether marriages among gay and lesbian couples “should or should not be recognized by the law as valid” with the same protections as those given to heterosexual couples. 53% of respondents said that yes, these marriages should be valid, while 45% opposed giving LGBT people the same marriage protections. The increase came exclusively among Democrats, whose support increased by 13 percentage points to 69% since last year; and political independents, whose support increased by 10 percentage points to 59%. Republicans’ opinions remained steady at 28% in support.
Overall, the number of Americans in support of marriage reflects a difference of 9 percentage points since last year’s Gallup poll. Older people are still less likely to support marriage, and women are still generally more supportive than men. Those who are unmarried and those who do not attend church frequently are also more likely to favor marriage. Majorities of both liberals and moderates support marriage (78% and 65%, respectively).
The results are consistent with an increasing pattern of support in other public opinion data as well. A CNN poll in April showed a majority of Americans nationwide support marriage for gay and lesbian couples, and a poll conducted by the Washington Post/ABC News found similar results. Additional research released in March showed that almost three-quarters (74%) of Catholics favor relationship recognition for gay and lesbian couples—a higher percentage than any other religious denomination.
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Marriage for gay and lesbian couples is currently legal in only Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, and the District of Columbia.
GLAAD applauds this milestone in Gallup polling and encourages media outlets to continue sharing the relationship stories of gay and lesbian couples around the country.