Metro Weekly

Two-Thirds of Likely Voters in Swing States Back Marriage Equality

HRC poll finds majority support for a national law protecting same-sex marriage, even as Republican senators waver on the issue.

Demonstrators for marriage equality at the Supreme Court in 2015. – Photo by Todd Franson

Nearly two-thirds of likely voters in battleground states support federal legislation defending same-sex marriage, according to a new poll from the Human Rights Campaign.

The data, released on Wednesday, Sept. 14, show that 64% of those voters said they supported a law “protecting the national right to same-sex marriage.”

Conducted between August 18 and 24, the poll surveyed 1,665 likely 2022 voters in 11 battleground states: Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Michigan, North Carolina, New Hampshire, Nevada, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.

The poll found that support for same-sex marriage is higher among female likely voters than male likely voters. Sixty-nine percent of females expressed support same-sex nuptials, versus only 58% of males.

The poll also found that 55% of self-described Christians would support a federal law protecting same-sex marriage. It did not see any significant differences based on race or ethnicity.

“Marriage equality has been nothing but positive, both for the LGBTQ+ community and for our society as a whole,” Joni Madison, HRC’s Interim President, said in a statement.

The findings of HRC’s poll track closely with those from other recent polls asking about support for same-sex marriage. About a month ago, Navigator conducted a national survey that found 61% of polled registered voters said they supported “Congress passing a law protecting the federal right to same-sex marriage.”

A Gallup survey released in June found 71% of Americans said they would support same-sex marriage, maintaining a record high. Similarly, a March poll by PRRI found 68% of Americans expressed support for same-sex marriage, with majority support in 47 states.

Same-sex marriage is legal nationwide thanks to the 2015 Supreme Court case Obergefell v. Hodges. However, when the court overturned Roe v. Wade in June, it set a potential precedent for overturning Obergefell as well — prompting a new push to enshrine same-sex marriage rights in federal law.

In July, the House of Representatives passed the Respect for Marriage Act, which would protect same-sex and interracial marriage. Forty-seven House Republicans voted in support of the bill, along with every member of the Democratic caucus. 

Unfortunately for LGBTQ advocates and allies, the measure won’t pass for at least two months. On Thursday, Senate Democrats decided to postpone a vote on the legislation until after this November’s upcoming midterm elections.

The bill has been mired in the Senate, where a bipartisan group of senators has been attempting to “whip” votes to ensure the legislation will receive support from at least 10 Republicans, which, when combined with the votes of the Democratic caucus, will reach the 60-vote threshold needed to stop a filibuster. The group is currently crafting language around explicit protections for people with religious opposition to same-sex marriage, in hopes of convincing more Republicans to back the measure.

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