Support for Same-Sex Marriage is Increasing Faster than Ever Before

By Andrew Flores
March 14, 2014
Washington Post

In the past months, there have been two pivotal U.S. Supreme Court cases and numerous lawsuits in several states by same-sex couples seeking marriage recognition. The recognition of marriage for same-sex couples for federal purposes is now in effect. Thus, it’s a good time to take stock of public opinion about same-sex marriage.  My analysis of recent polls generates three key findings:

1) It is much safer to say that a majority of the public approves of same-sex marriage

Below are the 2013-2014 polls on same-sex marriage (compiled from PollingReport.com).  There are some polls reporting an estimate below 50 percent, indicating that there is still some uncertainty depending on the source of the poll. However, for every one poll that reports less than majority support, there are five polls that report majority support. There is not much evidence that the Supreme Court’s June 2013 decisions produced a major shift in approval. Before the decision, an average of 52 percent supported same-sex marriage.  After the decision, 54 percent did.

The national trend using all surveys asking opinions on same-sex marriage also suggests that the majority of Americans now supports same-sex marriage.  In fact, in the past year, the change in support has increased more rapidly than ever.  (The graph excludes questions that separate out marriage equality, civil unions, or no recognition — but these questions also show that support for same-sex marriage is increasing.)

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