No matter how the polls frame it, U.S. public support for same-sex marriage is rising dramatically

For Immediate Distribution
June 16, 2015

Lauren Jow,, 310-206-0314

LOS ANGELES — A majority of people in the United States support marriage equality, regardless of how various polls frame the question, according to a new report by Andrew R. Flores, public opinion and policy fellow at the Williams Institute at UCLA School of Law, that was published in Public Opinion Quarterly.

The report, titled “Examining Variation in Surveying Attitudes about Same-Sex Marriage: A Meta-Analysis,” found that people respond differently when asked about the issue of “same-sex marriage” versus allowing “gays and lesbians to marry legally.” The former garners less support than the latter, lowering the average level of support by 2.9 percentage points.

Even so, the trend clearly shows a majority of Americans in support, even after accounting for the different ways pollsters ask people about their opinions.

The report analyzed 138 polls with 36 different question wordings from 21 polling organizations. The earliest survey is from 1996, and the latest from 2014. Support has more than doubled in this timeframe, and is not the result of any single pollster or question wording.

Click here to read the full report.