Poll: Majority say legal same-sex marriage inevitable
June 6th, 2013
01:24 PM ET
1 year ago

Poll: Majority say legal same-sex marriage inevitable

(CNN) - A majority of Americans – and even a majority of same-sex marriage opponents – believe it's "inevitable" that gays and lesbians will eventually be able to legally wed, a new survey indicates.

The poll, from the Pew Research Center, comes as the United States Supreme Court prepares to rule on two high profile same-sex marriage cases. A decision will come by the end of June.

Seventy-two percent of Americans believe legal recognition of same-sex marriage is inevitable, according to the poll. That's a jump from 2004, when 59% held that view.

Among those who support marriage rights for gays and lesbians, 85% said legal recognition was inevitable. But even among those who oppose same-sex marriage, 59% believe the opposing viewpoint will eventually win out and become the law of the land.

The poll reflected a longstanding trend of greater acceptance of same-sex marriage, seen in surveys going back several years. In Thursday's Pew poll, 51% of Americans say they support legal recognition for same-sex marriages.

And like past polls, more Americans report personally knowing someone who is gay, either in their family or circle of friends.

Demographically, older Americans are still less likely to support same-sex marriage, though even a majority of those 65 or older believe marriage rights for gays and lesbians are inevitable.

The Pew survey was conducted by telephone May 1-5 from a sample of 1,504 American adults. The sampling error was plus or minus 2.9 percentage points.


Filed under: Polls • Same-sex marriage • Supreme Court
soundoff (28 Responses)
  1. Gill

    Re: Jeff Brown...I could not agree with you more. I do not understand the hatred and ignorance of people opposing same sex couples being able to marry just like anyone else. I am completely sick and tired of people who are against homosexuality or homosexuals wanting to be married. These people are our fellow human beings and they should be entitled to the same rights as anyone else. I think its also hilarious how some go on and on and on about the "sanctity of marriage" Right...the "sanctity" Is that why statistically there are actually more divorced heterosexual couples than there are homosexual couples? There is nothing "holy" or "sacred" that is confined to those in a heterosexual relationship. Marriage is like anything else, sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. Anyone who is in love though regardless of whether its a man and a woman, a woman and a woman, a man and a man etc should and should have always has the right to be married if they wish.

    June 6, 2013 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  2. just sayin

    of course it is. because liberals, liberal hollywood and liberal judges have jammed it down our throat even when we have voted against it.

    June 6, 2013 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  3. Colorado

    Just Sayin that everyone who lives in this country has the right to persue happiness =)

    June 6, 2013 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  4. Peoples State of Illinois

    The morals of this country are going down the tubes. Yes, it does affect society. Children should not be taught that homosexuality is "normal" or acceptable. At best, feel sorry for them and tolerate them.

    June 6, 2013 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  5. Guy

    There are a lot of reasons for increases in divorce rates. It's been a trend for decades. However, how many people are now going to say "Now we have gay marriage, let's get divorced"? Some people that gay people having the rights and *responsibilities* under legal recognition of their relationships cheapens marriage, but that's mostly because they cheapen the humanity of gay people. There are lots of things that can lessen the value of marriage, but it's a bit hard to swallow that allowing people you don't like to get married is one of them is one of them. I don't care for most conservatives, but does them getting married cheapen the institution?

    June 6, 2013 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  6. Rudy NYC

    just sayin

    of course it is. because liberals, liberal hollywood and liberal judges have jammed it down our throat even when we have voted against it.
    -----------------
    Do you believe in democracy and govern by majority vote or not? Besides, no one is going to force churches to perform gay marriages. Churches are protected under "freedom of religion".

    June 6, 2013 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  7. Sniffit

    "Why all the hatred?"

    Because some segments of society acculturate their children to inextricably link their own feelings of self-worth with the ability to self-declare their moral superiority over others.

    June 6, 2013 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  8. anonymous

    Colorado
    Just Sayin that everyone who lives in this country has the right to persue happiness =)
    -–

    and the divorce rate says they are barking up the wrong tree if they are looking towards marriage for happiness!

    June 6, 2013 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  9. Al-NY,NY

    Peoples State of Illinois

    The morals of this country are going down the tubes. Yes, it does affect society. Children should not be taught that homosexuality is "normal" or acceptable. At best, feel sorry for them and tolerate them.
    ----------

    pathetic drivel...

    June 6, 2013 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  10. Peoples State of Illinois

    @Al-NY,NY

    Peoples State of Illinois

    The morals of this country are going down the tubes. Yes, it does affect society. Children should not be taught that homosexuality is "normal" or acceptable. At best, feel sorry for them and tolerate them.
    ----

    pathetic drivel...
    ----
    I agree, that is what you usually post.

    June 6, 2013 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  11. just sayin

    Rudy NYC
    -----–
    Do you believe in democracy and govern by majority vote or not?
    --

    yes, i support the voters of california that rejected gay marriage by election in 2008 only to have unelected judges force it upon them.

    June 6, 2013 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  12. Guess

    Sayin yet again confirms his disconnect with reality, maybe this is why you find yourself the laughing stock of this blog. time and time again

    June 6, 2013 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  13. Peoples State of Illinois

    The left only believes in democracy and govern by majority vote, when the vote follows their agenda. If it does not, then the left says they have to "protect" the minority and wind up giving them what they want.

    June 6, 2013 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  14. Rudy NYC

    just sayin wrote:

    yes, i support the voters of california that rejected gay marriage by election in 2008 only to have unelected judges force it upon them.
    ------------
    Civil rights should never be put to a referendum because the minority will always lose. Public referendums for term limits, property tax rates, school budgets, etc. They should never be allowed to grant the power to the majority to define the civil rights of minority group.

    June 6, 2013 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  15. Colorado

    anonymous

    Colorado
    Just Sayin that everyone who lives in this country has the right to persue happiness =)
    -–

    and the divorce rate says they are barking up the wrong tree if they are looking towards marriage for happiness!

    Now that's funny

    June 6, 2013 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  16. The Real Tom Paine

    -just sayin

    Rudy NYC
    -––
    Do you believe in democracy and govern by majority vote or not?

    yes, i support the voters of california that rejected gay marriage by election in 2008 only to have unelected judges force it upon them.
    ****************
    The courts exist to protect minorities from the dictates of the majority, or do you not want people to have the right to file suit against something that impacts them? What am I saying, of course you do, as long as its a cause you support and the people you like are wealthy.

    June 6, 2013 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  17. ThinkAgain

    @just sayin: "of course it is. because liberals, liberal hollywood and liberal judges have jammed it down our throat even when we have voted against it."

    "jammed down our throat" – interesting choice of words ... :)

    BTW, "our" should be followed by "throats" (plural)

    Further BTW, don't you believe in State's rights? Those state that have legalized it have done so through the democratic process; don't you believe in democracy?

    June 6, 2013 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  18. ThinkAgain

    If letting gay people get married affects your marriage (50% of which will end in divorce) or change you from straight to gay, then you have bigger issues to worry about ...

    June 6, 2013 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  19. ThinkAgain

    @Peoples State of Illinois: "The left only believes in democracy and govern by majority vote, when the vote follows their agenda. If it does not, then the left says they have to "protect" the minority and wind up giving them what they want."

    First of all, learn to properly punctuate your screen name.
    Second of all, Repubs don't believe in democracy, as evidenced by the FACT that they've been obstructing President Obama ever since he was elected FOR THE FIRST TIME, to the point that every vote in the Senate requires a super-majority of 60, to the point that even though Democrats in the House received a million more votes than Repubs in the last election, the Repubs act as if only what they want matters.

    Case in point: 90% of Americans want reasonable gun control legislation, including background checks on all gun sales (how else are you going to tell which ones are the "good guys" and which are the "bad guys"?).

    The Repub response? To cow to the NRA and block proposed legislation from coming to a vote.

    If you're looking for folks who don't give a rat's fanny about the will of the American people, look no further than the GOP.

    June 6, 2013 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  20. vikingwoman

    It's inevitable because it's the law! The Const.itution protects all Americans, not just those whose lifestyles we "approve" of!!

    June 6, 2013 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  21. ThinkAgain

    @Peoples State of Illinois: How many gay people do you know? I've got friends and relatives who are and they ARE normal and my children have been taught to love them for the people they are.

    How do I know these gay folks are normal and lovable? Because my children got to know them first as just another family member or friend and were only later told they were gay (when the kids were old enough to even be aware of that kind of thing).

    My kids' response? "Oh, really? Whatever."

    Too bad, Peoples, you aren't as mature and human ...

    June 6, 2013 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  22. Fair is Fair

    Rudy NYC

    just sayin wrote:

    yes, i support the voters of california that rejected gay marriage by election in 2008 only to have unelected judges force it upon them.
    ----
    Civil rights should never be put to a referendum because the minority will always lose. Public referendums for term limits, property tax rates, school budgets, etc. They should never be allowed to grant the power to the majority to define the civil rights of minority group.
    -------–
    Tell me where it states that marriage – gay or straight – is a civil right? If you can't, your point is moot.

    June 6, 2013 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  23. The Real Tom Paine

    There is an old adage about worrying about the things you can control, and accept with grace everything else. You have no control over how society changes: you do have control over how you choose to react to it. However, for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction: if you scream about lack of morals, you only demonstrate you own obvious lack of them, and a lack of grace to boot.

    June 6, 2013 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  24. Peoples State of Illinois

    @Thinkagain
    "If you're looking for folks who don't give a rat's fanny about the will of the American people, look no further than the GOP."
    -------–
    They are doing exactly what they were elected to do. "Case in point: 90% of Americans want reasonable gun control legislation, including background checks on all gun sales (how else are you going to tell which ones are the "good guys" and which are the "bad guys"?)." Your "90%) stat has already been proven a lie. But even if it weren't the key words are "reasonable gun control legislation" which hasn't been put forth yet.
    The rest of your post is not worth responding to.

    June 6, 2013 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  25. Sniffit

    "@Peoples State of Illinois: How many gay people do you know?"

    Now now, no trick questions. He doesn't believe they are people in the first place, so you're just confusing his tiny little bigot mind.

    June 6, 2013 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
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