- The latest figure matches the high recorded in 2022
- Support is lowest among Republicans (49%) and weekly churchgoers (41%)
- Young adults, Democrats among the groups most supportive of gay marriage
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Seventy-one percent of Americans think same-sex marriage should be legal, matching the high Gallup recorded in 2022. Public support for legally recognizing gay marriages has been consistently above 50% since the early 2010s.
The latest figures are from Gallup's annual Values and Beliefs poll, conducted May 1-24.
When Gallup first polled about same-sex marriage in 1996, barely a quarter of the public (27%) supported legalizing such unions. It would take another 15 years, until 2011, for support to reach the majority level. Then in 2015, just one month before the U.S. Supreme Court's Obergefell v. Hodges decision, public support for legalizing gay marriage cracked the 60% level. In 2021, it reached the 70% mark for the first time and has been there each of the past three years.
Support Relatively Low Among Republicans, Weekly Churchgoers
Gallup has recorded increases in support for same-sex marriage across all major subgroups over time. Today, majorities of all but two key subgroups -- Republicans (49%) and weekly churchgoers (41%) -- say gay marriages should be legally recognized.
Republican support for gay marriage has hovered around the 50% mark since 2020, with slight majorities backing it in 2021 and 2022. The latest 49% recorded for this group is statistically similar to the level of support Gallup has recorded in recent years.
Like all other subgroups, weekly churchgoers (41%) are more supportive of gay marriage now than they were in the previous two decades. However, their level of support has been steady since 2018 -- ranging between 40% and 44%.
The groups most in favor of legal same-sex marriage are the same found in previous years -- adults aged 18 to 29 (89%), Democrats (84%) and infrequent churchgoers (83%).
Same-sex marriage has received majority support in the U.S. for over a decade, and support has been on an upward trajectory for most of Gallup’s polling since 1996.
Gay marriage became the law of the land after the Supreme Court’s 2015 Obergefell decision, and President Joe Biden signed bipartisan legislation to ward off future judicial attempts at undoing its legality late last year.
Among many groups -- including older adults, Protestants and residents of the South -- perspectives on gay marriage have gone from majority opposition to majority support over the course of Gallup’s trend spanning more than a quarter of a century. But two groups remain holdouts on the issue, with Republicans evenly divided on the legality of same-sex unions and weekly churchgoers maintaining their position against it.
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