As the Supreme Court prepares to decide a key case involving the constitutionality of states’ same-sex marriage bans, public support for allowing gays and lesbians to marry legally continues its rapid rise: A 57 percent majority of Americans now favor allowing same-sex marriage, and 39 percent oppose, according to a new national survey by Pew Research Center.
This is the highest level of support measured for same-sex marriage in nearly 20 years of Pew Research Center polling of the issue. As recently as five years ago, more opposed (48 percent) same-sex marriage than supported it (42 percent).
The survey, conducted May 12-18 among 2,002 adults, finds partisans are as divided as ever on this issue: Today, 65 percent of Democrats and an identical percentage of independents favor gay marriage; only about a third (34 percent) of Republicans do so.
Growing shares of all three groups support same-sex marriage, yet the differences between Democrats and Republicans are as wide today as they were a decade ago.
However, with same-sex marriage legal in 36 states (and the District of Columbia) and the possibility of a Supreme Court decision on its nationwide status, Republicans (72 percent) are just as likely as Democrats (72 percent) and independents (74 percent) to say that it is “inevitable” that same-sex marriage will be legally recognized.Key findings →