Two new polls released this week show a majority of Americans support marriage equality for same-sex couples, and are largely unfazed by last week’s landmark Supreme Court decisions that struck down a key provision of the Defense of Marriage Act, and that cleared the way for same-sex marriage to resume in California.
A USA Today poll conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates found that by 55 percent of Americans say marriages between same-sex couples should be recognized by law as valid, with the same rights of traditional marriage; 40 percent were opposed.
Kevin Coyne of Washington holds flags in front of the Supreme Court on March 27, 2013, as the court hears arguments on gay marriage.
The only major demographic groups in which a majority opposed same-sex marriage are Republicans (68 percent) and seniors 65 and older (51 percent).
The poll also found that, even in the South, which continues to be the only region that doesn’t show majority support for gay marriage, opposition has slipped below 50 percent.
By a narrower margin, 48 percent of those surveyed favor the Supreme Court’s decision declaring unconstitutional part of DOMA, which barred the federal government from providing benefits to same-sex spouses; 43 percent opposed the ruling.
In the second poll, a Reuters/Ipsos opinion poll showed that a majority of Americans either favored or had no strong opinion regarding the court’s rulings.
In the Reuters poll, 43 percent of those surveyed agreed or strongly agreed with the court’s decision to strike down Section 3 of DOMA, which limited federal recognition of marriage to that between a man and a woman.
By the same token, 41 percent agreed or strongly agreed with the court’s handling of the case concerning Proposition 8, the California law that banned gay marriage.
The Reuters poll showed that a quarter of those surveyed strongly opposed both decisions; about a quarter of respondents were either unfamiliar with the decisions or had no opinion.
The USA Today poll was conducted Thursday through Sunday of last week. The Reuters poll was conducted Wednesday through Friday.