Thursday, March 03, 2011

Polling Consensus: Growing Support for Marriage Equality

Different polls provide different outlooks on Americans' support for marriage equality.  The newest poll on the subject, conducted by Pew Research Center, finds that support for gay marriage runs statistically even (within the 3% margin of error) with the opposition, at 45% to 46%.  This was their highest measured support for marriage equality since they started tracking the issue in 1996.
Other polls have confirmed that support for gay marriage - and particularly for equal rights for gay couples beyond marriage itself - has been on the rise in recent years.  Take a look at these numbers, compiled by the Huffington Post through PollingReport.com:

  • CBS News asked a three-way question in August 2010, and found that 40% support allowing same-sex marriage, 30% support civil unions, and 25% do not support any legal recognition of gay marriage. Support for allowing gay marriage was up from 30% in 2008 and 22% since they began asking the question in 2004.

  • An AP-National Constitution Center poll found that 52% of adults supported same-sex marriage, up from 46% in 2009. In addition, the poll found that 58% think couples of the same sex should be entitled to the same government benefits as opposite-sex couples.

  • Fox News asked a three-way question in August of 2010 and found that 37 percent of registered voters supported legal marriage, 29 percent supported some other form of legal partnership, and 28 percent favored no legal recognition. Support for marriage was up from 33 percent in 2009 and from 20 percent since Fox began asking the question in 2004.

  • A CNN poll in August 2010 found that 49 percent of adults thought gays and lesbians have a constitutional right to get married legally, up from 45 percent in 2009. In addition, 52 percent said they thought gays and lesbians should have that right under the Constitution.

  • A Gallup poll in May of 2010 found that 44 percent said gay marriage should be legally recognized, up from 40 percent in 2008 and 2009, though one Gallup poll in 2007 found 46 percent of adults supported that measure.

  • The facts speak for themselves: all polling organizations have found increased support for gay marriage over the past few years.  The tide is moving away from the anti-gay forces who would keep us as second class citizens, towards those of us who understand the importance of marriage equality.  It is not a stretch at all to project majority support for marriage equality, across all unbiased polling firms, within the next few years.  Let's make sure our elected officials are recognizing this trend and taking note.

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