Pew Research Reveals Numbers Behind Surge in Support for Marriage Equality
A new research paper from Pew reveals some numbers behind the shift in favor of marriage equality:
The long-term shift in the public’s views about same- sex marriage is unambiguous. Polling conducted in 2003 found most Americans (58%) opposed to allowing gays and lesbians to marry legally, and just a third (33%) in favor. The new survey by the Pew Research Center, conducted March 13-17, 2013 among 1,501 adults nationwide, confirms that these figures have crossed, with 49% supporting same-sex marriage, and 44% opposed.
The new survey finds 70% of “Millennials” – born since 1980 and age 18-32 today – in favor of same-sex marriage. That is far higher than the support among older generations. But two other factors also make the views of this group significant. Millennial support for same-sex marriage has grown substantially over the past decade, from 51% in 2003 to 70% today. And Millennials make up a larger share of the adult population today. In 2003, Millennials made up just 9% of the adult population. Today, 27% of adults are in the Millennial generation.
Support for same-sex marriage also has increased among older generations over the past decade. For example, in 2003, just 17% of those in the Silent generation – born between 1928 and 1945 – favored same-sex marriage; today 31% do.
Doc Sweitzer, a Democratic media consultant based in Philadelphia, offered another take on why attitudes on gay marriage have shifted. “Here’s the answer: Television,” Sweitzer wrote in an email to the Fix. “It’s the greatest socializing tool of all time.
Read the full Pew Research paper HERE.