Poll shows dramatic increase in support for same sex marriage

By Stephen C. Webster
Wednesday, August 31, 2011 12:31 EDT
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A new poll (PDF) from the AngusReid Public Opinion group has found a dramatic increase in support for same sex marriage since last year, with nearly half (46 percent) of respondents now saying it should be made legal.

An additional 22 percent of survey respondents said they didn’t think full marriage should be permitted, but some form of “civil union” would be acceptable. Just 23 percent said no legal recognition should be given to same sex couples.

The numbers represent a 10 percent increase in support for same sex marriage over a 2010 AngusReid poll. Even more hopeful to marriage equality supporters are the demographic findings: 68 percent of what the firm called “generation y” favors legalizing same sex marriage, and 48 percent of “generation x” agrees.

Older Americans proved less likely to answer similarly: the poll found that just one-in-four Americans born before 1979 would classify marriage as between two people, instead of between a man and woman.

The survey also found that nearly half (40 percent) of Republicans believe that gays and lesbians can be “cured” through prayer to their deity, whereas 62 percent of Americans at-large believe that to be impossible.

Just 30 percent of those who did not know a single gay or lesbian person said that sexuality could be “cured” through their religious rituals.

A poll taken by Pew in March found that 45 percent of Americans favored legalizing same sex marriage. A CNN poll released in April also found a slim majority of 51 percent support same sex marriage.

The federal government does not recognize same sex marriages. In spite of this, it has been legalized in Iowa, Massachusetts, New York, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Vermont and Washington, D.C.

Stephen C. Webster
Stephen C. Webster
Stephen C. Webster is the senior editor of Raw Story, and is based out of Austin, Texas. He previously worked as the associate editor of The Lone Star Iconoclast in Crawford, Texas, where he covered state politics and the peace movement’s resurgence at the start of the Iraq war. Webster has also contributed to publications such as True/Slant, Austin Monthly, The Dallas Business Journal, The Dallas Morning News, Fort Worth Weekly, The News Connection and others. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenCWebster.
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