GALLUP: New Polls Show Most Americans Support Marriage Equality and Believe People are Born Gay


Gallup has revealed the results of a recent poll showing support for marriage equality at 53 percent, the third consecutive reading of 50 percent or higher in the past year.

Gallup's May 2-7 poll suggests Americans' support for gay marriage is solidifying above the majority level. Recently, Rhode Island and Delaware legalized same-sex marriage, and Minnesota is likely to follow suit. That would bring the total number of states legally recognizing same-sex marriage to 12.

Just three years ago, support for gay marriage was 44%. The current 53% level of support is essentially double the 27% in Gallup's initial measurement on gay marriage, in 1996.

Nearly all U.S. subgroups are more likely to favor gay marriage now than in the past. Politically, Democrats, independents, and liberals all show increasing support for gay marriage over time, with each well above the majority level now. Republicans, conservatives, and moderates are more likely to favor gay marriage now than in 1996, but the increase in support among these groups may have stalled. Thus, most of the increase in the percentage favoring legal gay marriage in the last three years has come among left-leaning groups politically.

Much deeper data diving at the source.

Another poll shows the largest-gap ever measured between those who favor 'nature' over 'nurture' when it comes to sexuality.


Writes Gallup:

Currently, 47% of Americans view being gay or lesbian as a sexual orientation individuals are born with, while 33% instead believe it is due to external factors such as upbringing or environment. That 14-percentage-point gap in favor of "nature" over "nurture" is the largest Gallup has measured to date. As recently as two years ago, the public was evenly divided.

The results are based on Gallup's annual Values and Beliefs poll, conducted May 2-7. When Gallup first asked about the origins of same-sex orientation in 1977, Americans were much more likely to attribute it to upbringing or environment. Although the gap in favor of external factors shrank somewhat over the next two-plus decades, it remained the more common belief.

Throughout most of the last decade, Americans were generally divided in their views, though there were times when they tilted slightly more in the direction of environmental factors (2003-2005) or toward a birth factor (2006-2008).

The 2012 Values and Beliefs poll marked the start of a trend toward an increasing belief that people are born with a same-sex orientation.


  1. ratbastard says

    Sexual orientation is most likely predominately a result genetics, but I think environmental factors and early upbringing can play a role. I also think in certain environments men and women can turn to homosexual relations even though they may not consider themselves gay.

  2. Rick says

    I am so sick and tired of this question of what “causes” homosexuality. To continue posing that question is to continue to imply that there is something abnormal about it….and that is something we should all be offended by.

    Homsexuality is a part of nature, just as heterosexuality is. It has been observed in all human societies, across all cultural boundaries, and has also been observed among all higher primates and virtually all mammals, as well as many other species.

    Why don’t we just leave it at that?

    The focus should be on allowing people to pursue whatever sexual interests they have, NOT on trying to identify “causes” of those attractions or trying to classify them…..


  3. PAUL B. says

    Rick…wow, there are rare occasions that give me hope you may be salvageable. This is one of them…come to think of it, it’s the only one.
    Good for you manly man.

  4. RONTEX says

    There has been such a proliferation of different polls in the last year, ALL pointing to this countries massive shift towards acceptance on all levels, as well as the expected violence from homophobes who just won’t accept it (see France). Hopefully, all of these polls and the numerous states that have now passed marriage equality will help the SCOTUS rule broadly in our favor. The constitutional right to marry extends to ALL Americans, regardless of gender.

  5. Francis #1 says

    47 percent is not impressive. 47% is less than half of American citizens (and even less when you factor our gay people) who think being gay is inborn. Outside of that I’m happy with the numbers, we’re making progress, although only 19% of citizens say allowing marriage equality would be for the betterment of society, compared to 39% who claimed it would be for the worse. We need more active allies, more allies in general, instead of people who simply passively support or don’t care either way.

  6. says

    As others have stated in comments to other postings, it is incredible how much public opinion has shifted in support of gay marriage in such a short time. Very few other human rights movements have such seen a dramatic shift in public opinion in such a short period of time.

  7. Joshyboy says

    It’s interesting that most gay people that I’ve spoken to feel that you are born gay. And regardless of whether it is true or not I think that perhaps they feel that this validates the fact that they can do nothing about it – therefor, society should accept who I am. But the fact of the matter is that whether born gay or upbringing and environmental factors, everyone is in part at least a product of their environment. That contributes to who I am.
    I guess the thing that scares me the most about the idea that being gay is something that you are genetically pre-disposed to is that if this is scientifically proven, then all of the extreme right wing conservatives will then label it as a genetic disorder! I medical problem that can be cured…and that leads to a very dark place.

    The fact is I believe that it’s no one thing, there are multitude of very very complex contributors as to what makes you who you are. But you are that person and should never be made to feel any less because of it :-)