Support for same-sex marriage has hit record levels, according to a new Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll.
The poll found 59 percent of Americans believe same-sex couples should be allowed to marry, with 33 percent opposed. Just two years ago, in April 2013, 53 percent supported marriage equality with 42 percent opposed. And in 2004 — the year President George W. Bush ran for reelection supporting a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage — only 30 percent of Americans supported marriage equality with 62 percent opposed.
Conducted by Democratic pollster Fred Yang and Republican pollster Bill McInturff, the poll also found an increase in support among Republicans and conservatives. Two years ago 26 percent of conservatives supported same-sex marriage compared to 35 percent today. And among Republicans, 40 percent support same-sex marriage compared to 27 percent two years ago. Nevertheless, same-sex marriage still proves unpopular among Republican primary voters, who said a candidate support for same-sex marriage would make 50 percent of them view the candidate less favorably. Nineteen percent said it would make them view a candidate more favorably.
As the 2016 presidential race heats up, potential candidates for the Republican nomination have showed little desire to discuss same-sex marriage.
The record support for same-sex marriage comes as the U.S. Supreme Court is expected to rule on marriage equality nationwide later this year. In January, the nation’s highest court agreed to consolidate four cases challenging same-sex marriage bans in Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio and Tennessee after the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld marriage bans in those four states. Last week, the Supreme Court announced oral arguments on the issue of marriage equality would be heard April 28, with a ruling expected by the end of June.
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