Poll: Record high favor legal same-sex marriage
March 5th, 2014
11:36 AM ET
10 months ago

Poll: Record high favor legal same-sex marriage

Support for legal same-sex marriage is at an all-time high, according to a new national poll.

An ABC News/Washington Post survey released Wednesday indicates that 59% of Americans favor allowing gay or lesbian couples to legally wed. That's up two percentage points from an ABC News/Washington Post poll from last summer and appears to be the highest level of support ever recorded in any non-partisan, live operator national survey.

Thirty-four percent of those questioned say they oppose legal same-sex marriages, down six points from last summer.

The new survey was conducted after federal judges struck down a bunch of state bans on same-sex marriage and prohibitions on recognizing such unions performed in other states. The judges based their rulings on the 5-4 decision last summer by the Supreme Court, which ruled as unconstitutional a key part of the Defense of Marriage Act, which withheld recognition of, and benefits from, same-sex couples married in states where such marriages are legal.

The new poll indicates the expected partisan divide, with seven in ten Democrats and just over six in ten independents supportive of legal same-sex marriages. But by a 54%-40% margin, Republicans oppose allowing same-sex couples to legally wed. There's also an expected generational divide, with 72% of those age 18-39 saying they favor legal same-sex marriage. That number drops to 54% for those age 40-64 and down to 47% for those 65 and older.

According to the survey, 53% of those questioned in the 33 states where such unions are illegal support legal same-sex marriages, with four in ten opposed.

Last week Arizona Republican Gov. Jan Brewer vetoed a bill that would have allowed businesses to refuse serving gays, lesbians, and others, based on religious grounds. More than eight in ten questioned in the survey say businesses should not be allowed to refuse service to gays or lesbians.

The ABC News/Washington Post poll was conducted Feb. 27-March, 2, with 1,002 adults nationwide questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.

CNN Political Editor Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report.


Filed under: Polls • Same-sex marriage
soundoff (146 Responses)
  1. Thomas

    Russia is years behind .

    March 5, 2014 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  2. Enough is Enough

    So what? What is it with CNN and polls....try doing some actual reporting for a change....

    March 5, 2014 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  3. Wake up People!

    Well here in Michigan they are going all out in trying to dictate marriage. The other day they had a student from TEXAS who claimed he was an expert but was later disqualified from testifying. He claimed children raised by same sex parents weren't as well adjusted as those from hetero marriages. All I could say was dude really? Have you checked out our youth lately? The absolutely most disrespectful ever in history. Anywho, apparently he's not an expert and his testimony was tossed out.

    March 5, 2014 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  4. Rick McDaniel

    You know what????? People are simply SICK of hearing about this. They simply want to yield.......give them what they want, and ask the media to cease and desist from harassing the public.

    March 5, 2014 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  5. Wake up People!

    We get it. Polls are only good when they favor the GOP. You know like Mittens winning in a landslide, like the POTUS not being able to run for his coveted 3rd term, or like Christy being ahead of Hillary.

    I don't know why some of you come here. Fox would tell you just what you want to hear.
    Ask President Mittens.

    March 5, 2014 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  6. Fair is Fair

    SCOTUS, please.

    March 5, 2014 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  7. Matthew

    What a negative headline; they could have focused on the 41% who are still correct.

    March 5, 2014 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  8. BorisRoberts

    60% according to who? Sounds like wishful thinking to me. Accoding to Google, 84% of the world considers themselves religious. Also, 95+% of religious people, don't accept it. They are publishing bogus numbers.

    March 5, 2014 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  9. mk

    A Washington Post survey. Go report on a Fox News survey to get the other story. Thanks CNN. As usual –you chuckleheads are clueless.

    March 5, 2014 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  10. Reggie53

    That is why we are suffering so much in our country because we are definitely going down the wrong path of life. I am really sorry for our future generation....they will be totally confused on what traditional families are all about.

    March 5, 2014 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  11. Heather

    This "poll" does not represent all of America either. I guarantee you that!

    March 5, 2014 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  12. GodFlow

    Polls and statistics are propaganda and can be slanted and made to say whatever the pollster wants them to say.

    March 5, 2014 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  13. Lynda/Minnesota

    Ah yes. My two favorite cake dudes ... !

    March 5, 2014 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  14. pete

    what is even nore significant is that those opposed fell to only 34%...its getting close to a 2:1 ratio.

    March 5, 2014 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  15. Punctus

    But don't give up the fight GOP!!! No reason you should ruin your perfect average for being on the wrong side of social issues.

    March 5, 2014 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  16. Steve

    Give it another 10 years and it will be a larger number. Conservatives, can you hear the clock tick?

    March 5, 2014 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  17. weezer

    Sounds like the Pope is about to approve it.

    Once King Francis is on board, you naysayers are history. 1.2 billion believe he speaks the word of God.

    Once GOD approves....well, you might as well just put on your Ryan Seacrest t-shirt and start singing "It's Raining Men"

    March 5, 2014 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  18. daveinla

    yep, nothing like the destruction of American values. Our country is in a hand basket going in a southward direction.

    March 5, 2014 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  19. Darren

    Who cares? Its legal now – why are people continuing to look for acceptance by 1) conducting such poles and 2) advertising then on 'news' sites. You got what you wanted now go away.

    March 5, 2014 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  20. calvin

    Matthew, Of course to them the 41% doesn't matter. Yet the 41% is standing for truth. Which is what these polls lack. So they hold on to the untruths and what is sick and twisted!!!

    March 5, 2014 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  21. gary

    We need to stick with traditional American values. And the most basic American value is – "We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal…" That's the second line of the Declaration of Independence of the United States. We live in the Age of Equality. American values, and the French template from which they were taken, are spreading across the globe.

    March 5, 2014 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  22. Anomaly

    Gay marriage is a square circle, a smile on dog.

    March 5, 2014 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  23. TJ

    Here's a novel approach....let's focus on and change the "tax laws" to be fair for EVERYONE and leave the whole marriage debate alone!! Solve the real issue!!

    March 5, 2014 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  24. shehar39

    That's why people keep voting against gay marriage, and the gays gotta take it to court

    March 5, 2014 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  25. Mark

    Blah Blah Blah..............Thats what i hear with this story.......

    March 5, 2014 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
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