New Figures Show Majority of Americans Support Marriage Equality

By Michelle Garcia

Originally published on Advocate.com May 21 2014 3:17 PM ET

 

 

A new poll indicates that a majority of Americans say gay and lesbian couples should have the right to marry, according to Gallup.

The poll shows that 55 percent of respondents agree that marriages between same-sex couples should be legally recognized. In contrast, in 1996 only 27 percent of those polled supported the legal recognition of same-sex marriages. The percentage of those in support has risen steadily since 2008, when it stood at 40 percent, according to Gallup.

Currently, 78 percent of adults aged 18-29 support marriage equality. Back in 1996, only 14 percent of people older than 65 said they supported marriage equality, and while the conventional thinking is that older people do not support gay couples' right to marry, 42 percent over age 65 now support it.

By region, the East, where marriage equality is already the law of the land in several states, shows the highest support for marriage, with 67 percent. Fifty-eight percent of respondents in the West, 53 percent of those in the Midwest, and 48 percent of those in the South support marriage rights for gay and lesbian couples. All Southern states have constitutional bans on same-sex marriage, but many are currently being challenged.

Meanwhile, a poll by Politico with less supportive numbers was released earlier this week, focusing on people in areas with key congressional primaries. In addition to questions tied to Tuesday's election, voters were asked whether they support same-sex marriage. Fifty-two percent said they opposed it, and 48 percent said they were in support.

David Badash of The New Civil Rights Movement questioned the relevance of the poll, since it included only 853 participants across a wide set of races, and called it "embarrassing." Badash added, "Those areas include 16 conservative states — for Senate races — and 68 districts — for House races. That’s 84 separate areas polled, or just over 10 people per area on average," he wrote. "So, if Politico believes canvassing 10 people is a single House race is going to give them an accurate response, well, they are more than welcome to do so, but I have every right to disagree."