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Two new national polls show majorities for marriage equality

Marriage equality

By Adam Bink

The respected Gallup poll:

A new Gallup Poll released this morning finds that this month 53% of Americans say same-sex marriage should be recognized in law as equally valid with traditional male-female marriages.

The spurt in support of 9% in the past 12 months was the largest registered since Gallup first tracked the topic in 1996. Back then, only 27% supported same-sex marriage and two-thirds opposed.

Support for same-sex marriages had hovered in the low 40’s since about 2004, until the latest figures, showing 59% of independents and 69% of Democrats now support the idea, while 28% of Republicans do. The GOP figure was unchanged from 2010.

The new statistics also show a predictable generational cleavage, with support for gay marriage highest among the youngest (70% among those 18 to 34), declining to 53% among those 35 to 54 years old and weakest among those over 55 (39%) — although even that segment’s support increased six points in the past 12 months.

And the Public Religion Research Institute:

A poll released by the Public Religion Research Institute on Thursday confirmed what several other national pollsters have found: A majority of Americans now support marriage rights for same-sex couples. The poll found that 51 percent of Americans supported legalizing gay marriage compared to 43 who opposed legalization.

The poll also showed that the level of “strong” support for gay marriage is equal to the level of “strong” opposition. Twenty-four percent said they strongly felt that gay marriage should be legal while 25 percent said they strongly opposed the idea.

The poll also found that there wasn’t much difference in age groups. Respondents who were between 18 and 34 years old favored gay marriage at 61 percent, while among 35 to 49 year olds, that support was 57 percent.

In addition to gay marriage, the poll found that 56 percent of Americans support the right of same-sex couples to adopt children. Only 36 percent opposed the idea.

Following polls from CNN in April and The Washington Post in March.

I keep coming back to Nate Silver’s graph:

The trendlines are clear.



  • 1. Sagesse  |  May 20, 2011 at 12:11 am

    Those activist Gallup people.

  • 2. peterplumber  |  May 20, 2011 at 12:22 am

    I knew a guy who was shaped just like that graph….

  • 3. peterplumber  |  May 20, 2011 at 12:34 am

    28% of Republicans [support same sex marriage]

    We should all change our party affiliation to help boost this percentage up.

  • 4. karen in kalifornia  |  May 20, 2011 at 2:02 am

    Near term it doesn't matter. Look what just happened in Rhode Island. Can't let teh gay use the "M" word.

    There are only 11 Republicans in the RI House. It's socially conservative Democrats, many Catholic, who are "ok" with CUs as their version of equality. Note that the RI CU bill will NOT recognize out of state legal ss marriages. Go figure and who will fix this mess?

  • 5. Mark Mead-Brewer  |  May 20, 2011 at 2:24 am

    Yeah the penis graph is back!!

  • 6. Bob  |  May 20, 2011 at 3:36 am

    it's all the work everyone is doing,,, using their freedom of speech,,, and talking about,,,, these issues,,,, and debunking the myths of NOM,,,,,

    of course Americans will see equality,,, it's the outcome of the present process,,,, these issues are now part of a National conversation,,,,

    when ever I hear these issues in the mains stream news, I feel your accomplishment,,, remember how hard it was getting main stream coverage….

    The President, frequently finds ways to mention EQUALITY FOR ALL AMERICANS,, as an American value,,, in many of his important speaches,,,,

    It's important for those countries fighting for democracy to get it,,, that democracy supports EQUALITY,,,,,

    Of course the polls are shifting in favour of SSM

  • 7. Jon  |  May 20, 2011 at 3:54 am

    The talking point "activist judges overturned the will of the people" is in trouble.

    I'm talking BIG trouble! Wally, Beaver, go to your room!

    All right, seriously: the way to respond to "will of the voters" is still "in America we don't think it's OK to vote to take away rights. That's what constitutional rights are all about".

    But after that point has been made: in America the voters come around to supporting rights. For everyone. History shows this: time after time. And that's what is happening here. And I'm damn proud of that.

  • 8. Bob  |  May 20, 2011 at 4:08 am

    @Jon,,, sooo right you are,,,,,, (the voters don't decide, but it's real nice when the light is on,, and they use their votes to support and affirm constituitonal rights)

    LGBT rights are not dependant on polling outcomes,,, they are just a reflection back of the efforts made to awaken American values,,,,,,,,,,,,

  • 9. Maggie4NoH8  |  May 20, 2011 at 4:11 am

    @2 – Peter Plumber

    Ohhh my….


  • 10. Maggie4NoH8  |  May 20, 2011 at 4:13 am

    @4 – Karen (OR anybody else that knows why)

    OK – you say "teh gays"… and Rachel Maddow says "teh gays"…. I've seen "teh gay" many times…

    Why "teh" and not "the"?

    (and NO "you must be getting old comments!!! I already know that!) 🙂

  • 11. Maggie4NoH8  |  May 20, 2011 at 4:18 am

    What I found interesting in the LA Times article that Adam links to, is this:

    …Support for gay marriage is higher among Catholics than Protestants, among the unmarried and among those who attend church less frequently…

    I find it interesting that support is higher among Catholics than Protestants… Doesn't seem to square with NOM/Opus/Vatican et al's message and policy very well.

    Are they just that out-of-touch with the lay people?

  • 12. jpmassar  |  May 20, 2011 at 4:37 am


    Are they just that out-of-touch with the lay people?

    Yes. Every recent poll confirms this story. Catholic laity support marriage equality.

  • 13. jpmassar  |  May 20, 2011 at 4:49 am


    re: "teh gay"

    My source tells me

    Ignorant red necks typing on the internets can't spell or type. It's mockery of anti-gay sentiment.

  • 14. Maggie4NoH8  |  May 20, 2011 at 5:03 am

    @13 jpmassar


    Now I get it! Kinda like the "there I fixed it" website…

    PS – my conversion therapy (I am a reformed redneck) must be working out better than I thought!

  • 15. DaveP  |  May 20, 2011 at 6:09 am

    BTW, it looks like this new Gallup poll is all over the mainstream news and internet sites. Nice!

  • 16. Sagesse  |  May 20, 2011 at 11:04 am

    Truly revolting.

    GOP invites preacher who advocates jailing gays to give House prayer

  • 17. Chad  |  May 20, 2011 at 7:43 pm

    Is it just me, or does that chart sort of resemble the shape of a butt plug? The title should get changed to "Same Sex Marriage: Public Polls Since 1988. Now, shove THIS up your a##!" It's like a big gay d!ck. I love it!

  • 18. Chad  |  May 20, 2011 at 7:45 pm

    "The trendlines are clear.", indeed!

  • 19. Sagesse  |  May 20, 2011 at 9:33 pm

    State LGBT Watch: Transgender Protections Advancing in CT and NV, But Get Pulled Back In Tennessee

  • 20. Sagesse  |  May 20, 2011 at 9:39 pm

    Sorry, the link at #19 should be

  • 21. Sagesse  |  May 20, 2011 at 9:40 pm

    Christian Anti-Defamation Commission Promises Gays ‘It’s Really Not’ Getting Better

  • 22. Sagesse  |  May 20, 2011 at 9:45 pm

    For those who missed it, the CATO Institute video is available.

    The Case for Marriage Equality: Perry v. Schwarzenegger

  • 23. Sagesse  |  May 20, 2011 at 11:24 pm

    Just watched the CATO Institute presentation from earlier this week. What struck me is that in 91 minutes, supporters of marriage equality made their case without making a single accusation or saying a single mean thing about anybody.

  • 24. John B.  |  May 21, 2011 at 1:20 am

    Here's what I submitted to nomblog in response to their post about same-sex marriage being a "loser" in New York ( Interesting what nastiness their moderators will allow through from their supporters, while refusing comments like this one–the bottom line is that they don't want to hear the truth, and don't want their supporters to hear it either:

    The opponents of same-sex marriage are losing in the court of American opinion, every week, steadily and rapidly. If it doesn't happen this year, it will happen next year. Don't underestimate the resolve of those of us who are married, or wish to be. This is very personal to us, this is something that affects our day-to-day lives and our loved ones in a very direct way.

    And what is your side fighting for? Control over other people's relationships, a right to discriminate against them, and an abstract ideal that is already badly damaged by those who have had sole access to it in the last few decades that you still can't show is in any way threatened by same-sex marriage. Don't underestimate the tolerance, good will, and general compassion of the majority of the American people, who are beginning to understand just how much this affects us, and how little it affects them.

  • 25. Sagesse  |  May 21, 2011 at 3:34 am

    East Bay schools offer gay studies for high school students

  • 26. Sagesse  |  May 21, 2011 at 3:41 am

    About the Gallup poll. People's party affiliations change over time. Is there any indication of the relative proportion of Democrats, Republicans, Independents and Libertarians over the time frame that Gallup has been taking this poll?

    For example, if Republicans are consistently, say, 35% of respondents, the results are comparable. If, for example, Republicans used to be 40%, but some have drifted into the Independent or Libertarian camps, the analysis is different.

  • 27. LCH  |  May 21, 2011 at 3:48 am

    @Sagesse #25. This is a fantastic and important development for CA and over turn of Prop8. By teaching LGBT history in general in the schools we take away one of our enemies strongest weapons. Namely that if we have marriage equality, we'll be teaching "teh gay" in school.

    SB48 allows us to take control of the issue.

  • 28. Sagesse  |  May 21, 2011 at 4:11 am

    In Minnesota.

    Republicans begin day filing past loud marriage amendment protesters

  • 29. Sagesse  |  May 21, 2011 at 4:22 am


    Prayer controversy jeopardizes same-sex amendment vote

  • 30. Kate  |  May 21, 2011 at 4:47 am

    Excellent! Let those MN politicians see just what those people pressuring them are really like. Bring on more of those public "prayers."

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