Sunday, April 7, 2013
Poll: 58 percent back gay marriage
Support for gay marriage is climbing, with a poll released Monday showing 58 percent of Americans now believe gay and lesbian couples should be able to wed, a dramatic reversal from only a decade ago.
The ABC News/Washington Post poll found 36 percent of Americans oppose same-sex marriage, down from 55 percent in 2003. That’s the same year Massachusetts became the first state to legalize gay nuptials, and a year before Republicans placed anti-gay marriage referenda on state ballots across the country to help then-President George W. Bush’s re-election bid. At the time, only 37 percent of Americans backed gay marriage, according to the same polling group. Today, gay marriage is legal in nine states, with three states — Maryland, Maine and Washington — voting to legalize it last November.
The poll comes just days after Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) — who was discussed as a possible running mate for Mitt Romney in 2012 — announced his support for gay marriage, citing his experience with his gay son, and on the same day former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made announced she would join her husband and daughter as gay marriage backers.
Support for gay marriage is up among men, women, whites, non-whites, every age group, Catholics, Protestants, Democrats, Republicans and independents. Evangelical protestants are the group least likely to back gay marriage, with only 31 percent support. It has the support of 34 percent of Republicans.
Not only is support for same-sex marriage at a new high in the poll, the intensity of support is peaking. Forty-one percent of Americans “strongly” back gay marriage, and 30 percent “strongly” oppose it. In an August 2004 poll, 52 percent were “strongly” opposed marriage equality and only 18 percent “strongly” supported it.
And in a result that has implications for a forthcoming Supreme Court hearing on the Defense of Marriage Act, 64 percent of Americans want same-sex marriage to be decided for all of the states on the basis of the Constitution. Only a third would like gay marriage to be decided on a state-by-state level...