Metro Weekly

Same-sex marriage supported by more Americans than ever before

Most Protestants now support marriage equality, while Republican support continues to rise

Photo by Todd Franson

Same-sex marriage is now supported by more Americans than ever before.

According to a Gallup poll, 64% of Americans believe same-sex marriage should be recognized by law — up 3% from last year’s poll.

While Gallup called the increase “not meaningfully different,” it represents a stunning transformation in American attitudes towards same-sex marriage. In 1996, when Gallup first started asking about same-sex marriage, just 27% of Americans supported marriage equality.

However, it also represents a dichotomy between public opinion and legal precedent — a third of the country doesn’t support same-sex marriage being legal, despite the Supreme Court’s 2015 ruling to the contrary.

Democrats have long reigned as the political group most likely to support same-sex marriage, having reached majority support in 2004, with that figure now at 74% in favor — though that’s 5% less than in 2016.

Independents aren’t far behind, with 71% now supporting legal unions, up 6% over 2016.

However, even though marriage equality is opposed by most leaders in the Republican party, support among GOP voters continues to grow. While only 47% are in favor of same-sex marriages, it still represents a substantial increase from 1996, when just 16% of Republicans were in favor.

Photo: Gallup

Support among Christians also continues to increase. A majority of U.S. Protestants now support marriage equality, with 55% in favor of same-sex unions, versus just 27% in 1996.

And though the Catholic Church continues to oppose same-sex marriage, its members continue to support it. A majority of Catholics have believed same-sex marriage should be legal since 2011, with support now at 65% — though this is down slightly from 69% last year.

Rhuaridh Marr is Metro Weekly's managing editor. He can be reached at rmarr@metroweekly.com.