Poll: Majority Of Americans Would Support SCOTUS Decision Legalizing Same-Sex Marriage
A new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll finds that a majority of Americans believe the Supreme Court should legalize same-sex marriage nationwide:
Nearly three in five Americans want to see the Supreme Court legalize gay marriage throughout the United States, according to a new NBC News/ Wall Street Journal poll.
A total of 58 percent of Americans said that they favor a high court decision to eliminate bans against same sex marriage, with 44 percent of those saying they strongly favor such a result.
Thirty-seven percent of respondents said they oppose a court ruling in favor of the case’s LGBT plaintiffs, with 29 percent said they strongly oppose it.
The Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the same sex marriage case in April, and a decision is expected sometime this summer.
The poll results on the question of the Supreme Court’s decision show a split similar to the one illustrated this March, when NBC News/Wall Street Journal pollsters asked respondents if they favor or oppose same sex marriage. Fifty-nine percent said they favor it, while 33 percent disagreed.
Support for a Supreme Court decision that allows nationwide same sex marriage is particularly strong among young voters (73 percent in favor), Democrats (78 percent in favor), Hispanics (71 percent favor) and people with a postgraduate education (69 percent).
Opposition is high among conservatives (68 percent oppose) and seniors (55 percent oppose).
As a matter of law, of course, what the majority of the public thinks about this issue isn’t particularly relevant. However, it does seem to indicate that if the Justices do rule as most observers expect and strike down state-law bans on same-sex marriage then the public will largely accept the decision. Yes, there will be much complaining coming from Republicans and, especially, social conservatives, but that is likely all we’ll see. This suggests that, in time, the Court’s decision in this case would come to be seen more like Loving v. Virginia than Roe v. Wade. In the case of Roe, the decision has tended to remain a point of controversy precisely because abortion is an issue on which the public is almost evenly divided according to most polls on the subject. In this case, we’re talking about a social issue that, while a point of controversy, is one on which there has quickly formed a public consensus. Outside of the most vocal elements of the right, even conservatives don’t seem very eager to fight about gay marriage any more. No doubt, a Court decision along the lines I have outlined will be used by Republicans to rally the base and such, but that would seem to be all that we’re going to see. Sooner rather than later, we are likely going to end up in a world where people wonder why all the contentious debate over marriage equality was even necessary.