Poll: Majority Of Americans Support Gay Marriage

March 18, 2011

Eyder Peralta

Robyn Beck
A lesbian couple hold a sign at a protest calling for the right for gays and lesbians to marry outside the County Clerk s Office in Los Angeles on Valentine's Day, 2011.

An ABC/Washington Post poll found that 53 percent of Americans think gay marriage should be legal. The Washington Post reports:

The results underscore the nation's increasingly tolerant views about homosexuals, and parallel a string of recent legal and legislative victories for gay rights advocates.

Five years ago, at 36 percent, support for gay marriage barely topped a third of all Americans. Now, 53 percent say gay marriage should be legal, marking the first time in Post-ABC polling that a majority has said so.

The AFP reports that this if the first time in nearly a decade of polling that gay marriage polls this favorably.

The poll was conducted using a sample of 1,005 adults.

The Economist parses the numbers a bit and finds that the country is still very much divided along ideological lines:

The battle over gay marriage is not over, of course. Republicans and conservatives still oppose it by a two-to-one margin; evangelical white Protestants by a three-to-one margin. But even within these groups support for gay marriage has grown, and ABC notes that "support has grown sharply among others—notably, among Catholics, political moderates, people in their 30s and 40s and men."

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