A new poll from Gallup released today shows a majority in America support marriage equality, but it's a sharp shift since the last time they took the poll, the L.A. Times reports:
The spurt in support of 9% in the past 12 months was the largest registered since Gallup first tracked the topic in 1996. Back then, only 27% supported same-sex marriage and two-thirds opposed.
Support for same-sex marriages had hovered in the low 40's since about 2004, until the latest figures, showing 59% of independents and 69% of Democrats now support the idea, while 28% of Republicans do. The GOP figure was unchanged from 2010.
The new statistics also show a predictable generational cleavage, with support for gay marriage highest among the youngest (70% among those 18 to 34), declining to 53% among those 35 to 54 years old and weakest among those over 55 (39%) — although even that segment's support increased six points in the past 12 months.
Another poll released yesterday shows a majority of Americans are in favor of same-sex marriage: "A poll released by the Public Religion Research Institute on Thursday confirmed what several other national pollsters have found: A majority of Americans now support marriage rights for same-sex couples. The poll found that 51 percent of Americans supported legalizing gay marriage compared to 43 who opposed legalization."
Two more polls from other agencies have also reflected this change.
In March, a Washington Post-ABC News poll: "Five years ago, at 36 percent, support for gay marriage barely topped a third of all Americans. Now, 53 percent say gay marriage should be legal, marking the first time in Post-ABC polling that a majority has said so."
And in April, a poll from CNN: "Of those surveyed for a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll released Tuesday, 51 percent said they think marriages between lesbian and gay couples should be recognized as legal and come with the same rights as heterosexual unions, while 47 percent said the marriages should not be recognized."