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Poll: 72 Percent of Americans See Marriage Equality as 'Inevitable'

The percentage of Americans who believe same-sex marriage is "inevitable" has increased by 13% since 2004, a new Pew Research poll shows:

InevitableAs support for gay marriage continues to increase, nearly three-quarters of Americans – 72% – say that legal recognition of same-sex marriage is “inevitable.” This includes 85% of gay marriage supporters, as well as 59% of its opponents.

The national survey by the Pew Research Center, conducted May 1-5 among 1,504 adults, finds that support for same-sex marriage continues to grow: For the first time in Pew Research Center polling, just over half (51%) of Americans favor allowing gays and lesbians to marry legally. Yet the issue remains divisive, with 42% saying they oppose legalizing gay marriage. Opposition to gay marriage – and to societal acceptance of homosexuality more generally – is rooted in religious attitudes, such as the belief that engaging in homosexual behavior is a sin.

See the full results here.

In related news, a new Gallup poll concerning the moral attitudes of older Americans shows a dramatic shift in acceptance from the 55 and older population:

Acceptance of gay or lesbian relations among Americans aged 55 and older is now 25 points higher than it was in 2001. While Americans between the ages of 18 and 34 have consistently reported support for gay and lesbian relations at higher levels than older age groups, their support has also risen by 22 points in the past 12 years.


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  1. With older Americans, the improvement in numbers is pretty simple---older bigots dying out, replaced with younger aged individuals who are living in times with increased gay visibility, which translate to more acceptance.

    What I find interesting is how most Americans see marriage equality as inevitable nationwide, yet only about 51-53% support it, and even fewer "strongly" support it or support it when also given the option of civil unions.

    I think that highlights how a lot of people on our issues are in the middle. They're not against our rights, but they're not allies, either. If anything, the most progress we've made has been with people who tolerate us and have adopted a live and let live mentality more than embracing our community.

    Posted by: Francis #1 | Jun 7, 2013 12:10:54 PM

  2. I totally agree, Francis. I was actually going to say pretty much the same thing - seeing it as inevitable and supporting it are 2 different things. But, on the upside, I think it means that most wouldn't take steps to make sure that it doesn't become law.

    Posted by: Walt NYC | Jun 7, 2013 12:34:19 PM

  3. Interestingly, there is no discussion on the decline in opinion of 35-54 year olds (my age group BTW) who are less likely to think that gay relations are morally acceptable than they were 3 years ago......

    There's something very wrong with that statistic.

    Posted by: Mark | Jun 7, 2013 12:40:15 PM

  4. That's kind of like asking whether people think it's "inevitable" that Barack Obama will be president. There are already many tens of thousands of gay married couples in the U.S. Asking about inevitability throughout the country is one thing. Asking about inevitability in general is a bit blind to the current state of things.

    Posted by: Will | Jun 7, 2013 1:50:31 PM

  5. "Leftists are homophobes" comment in 3...2...1...

    Posted by: MateoM | Jun 7, 2013 4:51:40 PM

  6. If I had to venture a guess as to why the 35-54 year olds have actually gone down I would say that perhaps a bunch of formerly rebellious Gen-Xers are now turning to born-again christianity? Perhaps?

    Posted by: robert | Jun 10, 2013 10:04:41 AM

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