Poll: 59 Percent of Americans Oppose DOMA


A new poll commissioned by the Center for American Progress and Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders and conducted by the Goodwin Simon Strategic Research and Voter Consumer Research examines views about DOMA, suggesting that its repeal is far overdue.

What they found:

First, mirroring other recent national polls, we see that a majority (52%) of registered voters favor
allowing same-sex couples to legally marry.

Nearly six in ten (59%) registered voters oppose Section 3 of DOMA, which requires the federal
government to treat legally married same-sex couples as unmarried for the purposes of federal benefits
and protections. Just one-third (34%) favor this part of DOMA, while six percent are unsure.

Notably, some voters who oppose marriage for same-sex couples nonetheless believe that if same-sex
couples are allowed to legally marry in their state, then the federal government should recognize those
legal marriages. These voters reject the section of DOMA that prohibits federal recognition of marriage
for same-sex couples. Therefore, while 52 percent of respondents favor marriage for same-sex couples,
a larger 59 percent oppose DOMA’s requirement that the federal government treat them as unmarried.

Shedding insight into these findings is that 62 percent of respondents agree that “it is discrimination for
the federal government to deny marriage protections and benefits to legally married same-sex
couples.” Just 34 percent disagree with this statement, while four percent are unsure.

The Washington Blade's Chris Johnson spoke with GLAD's Mary Bonauto:

“With each passing day, more and more Americans are learning how DOMA denies important marital protections and heaps disrespect on married same-sex couples across the country – and they’re saying, ‘Enough is enough,’ Bonauto said. “It’s not surprising that a majority of this country now believes that loving, committed couples in legal marriages should be treated fairly under federal law. It’s time for our laws to catch up with where public opinion is on abolishing DOMA.”

(graphic via CAP)


  1. Paul R says

    The headline on this story is a bit misleading. The poll finds these results among registered voters, who tend to be more educated than “all” Americans. Sadly, I think the numbers would be quite a bit lower if they’d asked a random sample of Americans.

  2. says

    Most anyone who doesn’t vote would have no idea what DOMA is, even if it were explained to them, so a random sampling would only show greater cluelessness. This shows that if DOMA is repealed it won’t be the big backlasgph deal some naysayers think it will be.

  3. Bob says

    Using servicemembers who do not get benefits for their legal spouses is the best route to convincing more of the public. Edie Windsor’s case works with many older Americans, too. The “You need to be fair to Gay people” thing goes over like a lead balloon, and was the costly mistake made on Prop 8

  4. Chadd says

    While I am pleased with the number, 52% is not a “strong majority”. I realize we live in a world where 50.5% is considered a “landslide” and a mandate in Presidential races, but 52% means to me that we still have a lot of work to do and almost half of respondents were against us. If we were on the wrong side of that 52%, we’d be throwing a fit if the anti equality people were calling it a “strong majority”.

Leave A Reply