Breakthrough: Majority of Americans back gay marriage

By David Edwards
Friday, March 18, 2011 11:47 EDT
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For the first time in history, a majority of Americans support gay marriage, according to a new poll.

A recent Washington Post/ABC News poll found that support for same-sex marriage has increased significantly in the last decade.

Backing of gay marriage has grown to 53 percent, while 44 were opposed, according to the survey (.pdf).

The data shows a trend of more and more Americans supporting same-sex marriage. In 2003, only 37 percent of Americans felt it was legal. Support grew to 47 percent by 2010.

While a majority of Democrats and independents supported gay marriage, only 31 percent of Republicans agreed with the idea.

All age groups saw big increases in support since 2005. Ages 30-39 saw a 23 point jump, the biggest among all age groups.

A recent Pew poll also observed an increase in those that thought same-sex marriage should be legal.

The poll found that 45 percent of adults surveyed favored allowing gays and lesbians to legally marry, compared to only 42 percent last year. Forty-six percent of those surveyed were opposed to same-sex marriage, a decline of 19 percent since 1996.

A 2010 Fox News/Opinion Dynamics poll found that 66 percent believed gays and lesbians deserved some form of legal recognition for same-sex marriages or civil unions.

Last month, President Barack Obama instructed the Department of Justice to stop defending a key section of the nation’s laws banning gay marriage. Republicans in Congress vowed to fight the administration’s decision.

– with earlier reporting by Eric W. Dolan

David Edwards
David Edwards
David Edwards has served as an editor at Raw Story since 2006. His work can also be found at Crooks & Liars, and he's also been published at The BRAD BLOG. He came to Raw Story after working as a network manager for the state of North Carolina and as as engineer developing enterprise resource planning software. Follow him on Twitter at @DavidEdwards.
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