Gay Marriage Support Has Risen Steadily Since 2004
Need more evidence that equality opponents are on the wrong side of history? The latest Pew Research poll shows a steady increase in the percentage of Americans who support same-sex marriage. Forty-seven percent of those tallied back marriage, with only 43% saying they oppose it. Support is up 8 points since 2008 and 16 from 2004. Opposition has therefore obviously fallen: 51% told Pew in 2008 they're against marriage equality. Sixty percent said the same in 2004.
Most encouragingly, though, the number of people who "strongly" support marriage is on the rise, too:
…For the first time in a Pew Research Center survey there is as much strong support as strong opposition to gay marriage. In the current survey, 22% say they strongly support allowing gays and lesbians to marry legally; an identical percentage (22%) strongly opposes gay marriage. In 2008, there was about twice as much strong opposition to as strong support for gay marriage (30% vs. 14%).
In 2004, when the issue was widely thought to have increased turnout among socially conservative voters in several key states, 36% strongly opposed gay marriage while just 11% strongly favored it.
Most of the support comes from predictable voting blocs, Democrats (59%) and Independents (52%), but it's heartening to hear that while Republicans as a whole still disagree with same-sex nuptials (68%, with only 23% support), general opposition among the GOP ranks has fallen 10 points since 2004. Strong opposition has fallen 14 points.
Not all the news out of this poll is as comforting, though: Pew found that 49% of Americans think it's more important to protect gun ownership rights, a steady increase since the 2008 election. Only 45% believe gun control is more important. Prior to the 2008 election, about 60% preferred control over bearing arms.