The Evidence Mounts: Most Americans Support Same-Sex Marriage

The Public Religion Research Institute is out with a new poll showing, as did recent ABC News/Washington Post and CNN/Opinion Research Corp. polls, that a majority of Americans support same-sex marriage. The PRRI poll shows 51% of Americans support same-sex marriage, while 43% oppose it. Significantly, 56% support adoption by gay and lesbian couples, while only 36% oppose it.

Broken down by religion and political affiliation:

  • A solid majority of Catholics and white mainline Protestants (56% and 55% respectively) favor allowing gay and lesbian couples to legally marry, compared to only 23% of white evangelical Protestants. Nearly 8-in-10 (77%) Americans who are not affiliated with any religion support same-sex marriage.
  • More than 6-in-10 (61%) Democrats and a majority (55%) of political independents support allowing gay and lesbian couples to legally marry. In contrast, less than 4-in-10 (37%) Republicans and only 34% of Americans who identify with the Tea Party movement support same-sex marriage.

As I reported in February, last year marked first time more Americans supported same-sex marriage than opposed it. Sociologist Darren Sherkat dug into the General Social Survey data and found that in 2010, more Americans supported gay marriage (46%) than opposed it (40%).