Americans’ Support for Same-Sex Marriage is at an All-Time High
June 8, 2018 by Justin Lehmiller
Over the past decade, there has been a dramatic change in support for same-sex marriage in the United States. Consider this: in 2006, Gallup conducted a national poll, which found that just 37% of Americans were in favor, while 59% were opposed. By contrast, this year’s poll documented a major reversal: two-thirds (67%) are now in favor, with 31% opposed. This all-time high comes just three years after the U.S. Supreme Court decision that legalized same-sex marriage nationwide.
Attitudes toward same-sex marriage differ based on political orientation, however. Whereas the vast majority of both Democrats (83%) and Independents (71%) are supportive, just under half of Republicans (44%) are. However, it’s worth noting that support among Republicans has more than doubled in the last decade, as you can see in the graph below.
Also, it’s worth mentioning that, among Republicans, views differ a lot based on age. For example, in a Pew Research Center poll conducted last year, younger Republicans were at majority support, with 60% of millennials and 51% of Generation X’ers in favor. By contrast 42% of Boomer Republicans were in favor, whereas among those who were older, the number dropped to 29%.
With all of that said, what we’re seeing here is a massive increase in support for same-sex marriage across the political spectrum. And while this trend is one that has long been underway, the data would seem to suggest that legalization has played a pivotal role in boosting support to its highest level on record.
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Image Sources: 123RF, Gallup
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Dr. Justin LehmillerFounder & Owner of Sex and Psychology
Dr. Justin Lehmiller is a social psychologist and Research Fellow at The Kinsey Institute. He runs the Sex and Psychology blog and podcast and is author of the popular book Tell Me What You Want. Dr. Lehmiller is an award-winning educator, and a prolific researcher who has published more than 50 academic works.Read full bio >