Young Repubs Express Big Support for Marriage Equality

By Trudy Ring

Originally published on Advocate.com March 12 2014 3:04 PM ET

Support for marriage equality continues to be pronounced among young people, even those who identify as Republican, according to a new poll from the Pew Research Center.

The poll, conducted in February and released this week, found that 61 percent of Republican and Republican-leaning respondents aged 18-29 supported equal marriage rights for same-sex couples. Just 35 percent were opposed.

Support was markedly lower among older groups of Republicans, at 43 percent in favor among those aged 30-49, 30 percent among those aged 50-64, and 22 percent among those 65 and older. Support averaged out to 39 percent among all age groups.

Among respondents who identified as Democratic or Democratic-leaning, 77 percent of those aged 18-29 supported marriage equality. Among all age groups, a majority endorsed equal marriage rights: 71 percent of those aged 18-49, 66 percent of those aged 50-64, and 62 percent of those 65 and older, for an average of 69 percent.

“The relative liberalism of young Republicans on issues of homosexuality goes beyond their support for gay marriage,” notes a Pew blogger. For instance, only 18 percent of Republicans in the 18-29 age group say it’s bad for society that more gay and lesbian couples are raising children, while 26 percent say it’s a positive development, and 56 percent say it doesn’t make a difference or they don’t know. “By comparison, majorities or pluralities of older Republicans say this trend is a bad thing for society,” the blogger writes. Democrats were largely positive or neutral on the matter.