Majority Support For Same-Sex Marriage Remains Solid

We appear to have clearly turned a tide in the same-sex marriage debate to the extent that support for marriage equality is now supported by a solid majority of the American people:

A majority of Americans surveyed this week say they support gay marriage, just days after voters approved pro-gay marriage ballot initiatives in Maryland, Maine and Washington. The votes in those three states, coupled with the rejection of a constitutional amendment in Minnesota that would have banned same-sex marriages, marked the first occasion that voters directly approved pro-gay marriage initiatives on the state level.

According to the survey, from ABC News and The Washington Post, 51 percent of Americans support same-sex marriages — the fifth consecutive poll taken by the news organizations that showed a majority of Americans in favor. Meanwhile, 47 percent of respondents say they oppose same-sex marriage.

More than six in 10 young adults say they support gay marriage, as do three in four Democrats. But two-thirds of seniors and more than eight in 10 voters who describe themselves as “very conservative” say they are against the practice.

The results closely mirrored exit polls from last week’s election, in which a slim plurality (49-46 percent) of voters said they supported gay marriage. Unsurprisingly, supporters favored President Obama by a nearly 3-to-1 margin, while the president won 76 percent of gay and lesbian voters.

With last week’s success at the polls, it will be interesting to see where the movement goes next. There’s been talk of a push for same-sex marriage in Oregon based on the success of the measure in Washington State. Another state where this could become an issue next year is New Jersey, where recent polls show a substantial majority of the public supports same-sex marriage and the Democratic Legislature has already passed a bill only to see it vetoed by Governor Christie. New Jersey has had civil unions for quite some time now, so a shift to same-sex marriage wouldn’t be that big of an adjustment.

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Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. legion says:

    I think, more than just supporting it, a growing number of Americans are no longer intimidated about actually _voicing_ their support for it. The idea has been around for a while now, in the US and other countries, and the fiery pits of hell have not opened up to consume the sinners, nor have there been waves of gay-induced divorces.

  2. michael reynolds says:

    The opposition is dying off. Literally dying.