Poll: Record high favor legal same-sex marriage
March 5th, 2014
11:36 AM ET
5 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. timmy

    history marches on. gay marriage will be the norm soon.

    March 5, 2014 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  2. Say What?

    Calling 1,002 out of 312 millions in the US....Polls are dumb and never right

    March 5, 2014 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  3. No wayName

    Yes Reggie, I'm sure gay marriage is clearly the ONE THING that will ruin generations to come....

    March 5, 2014 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  4. bcw

    America is changing. Like it or not, the GOP will become the party of obsolete. The young citizens will not buy into the social policy of the republicans at all. Vote the republicans out of the office and focus on the economy and jobs in 2014 mid-term election.

    March 5, 2014 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  5. chet

    Doesn't make any difference what 60% or 90% want until the Church says so.. and even then it will not change a belief system.

    March 5, 2014 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  6. Sashatree

    I just wish the Supreme Court would rule for MARRIAGE EQUALITY once and for all! Marriage is a CIVIL issue, it's an issue of

    March 5, 2014 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  7. Matt

    I wonder if they took a poll what percentage of the people would say they're sick of hearing about gay marriage every day

    March 5, 2014 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  8. simon

    60% of 1000? Hardly an accurate representation of the entire country's opinion. Non-news propaganda.

    March 5, 2014 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  9. Frank

    What a joke. 80% of the nation identifies themselves as Christians. That's a fact. CNN is saying that 60% of those Christians defy the word of GOD?

    I DOUBT IT!

    March 5, 2014 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  10. QS

    As conservatism continues to show its true colors, and as religion continues to alienate and push people away, the more we advance toward true equality....coincidence?

    March 5, 2014 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  11. Real Change

    They polled EVERYONE in San Francisco...

    March 5, 2014 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  12. JT

    Once again a CNN article about gay marriage does a great job of bringing out the truly ignorant in the comment section. For some reason a lot of nutjobs are oddly convinced that gays are going to somehow destroy the world. It's amazing that so many religious conservatives use gays as the scapegoat to explain issues that they don't want to actually have to deal with.

    Who knew two people deciding to spend their lives together would be such a dangerous things for Earth.

    March 5, 2014 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  13. blakenaustin

    Nearly 60% means that more than 40% do NOT support gay marriage. Which is an amazing statistic considering the relentless, 24×7 propoganda that has come out of the far left media for the past three decades. And the wholehearted promotion of this agenda by the Obama administration. I wonder how many of the less than 60% are simply caving into very intense PC pressure and the relentless use of terms like "bigot" by the far left to characterize those that don't share their perspective and their agenda.

    March 5, 2014 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  14. DJL

    @chet: doesn't matter what the church thinks, as marriage is a LEGAL union, not a religious one. You're confusing it with "holy matrimony."

    March 5, 2014 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  15. daniel

    You can make a poll fit any agenda. 1002 people were polled....... very far from the majority. Most of the people polled were probably from liberal areas. As an Independent I am against am against gay marriage, most of my friends and family are against it too.

    March 5, 2014 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  16. daniel

    You can make a poll fit any agenda....does not make it true.

    March 5, 2014 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  17. sly

    "I wonder if they took a poll what percentage of the people would say they're sick of hearing about gay marriage every day"
    =====
    True, but remember people were also sick of hearing that blacks were allowed to vote, or marry non-blacks. It is news that the 60% of us are progressive, and move forward.

    Besides, we still get more 'Pope' stories than anything else, and nothing could be more boring than a man in a white dress.

    March 5, 2014 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  18. Malory Archer

    chet

    Doesn't make any difference what 60% or 90% want until the Church says so.. and even then it will not change a belief system.

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Yeah, except "the Church" isn't in charge of American politics, so what "the Church" says doesn't matter in the real scheme of things.

    March 5, 2014 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  19. CosmicC

    @Frank – Not all Christians agree with your view on what their religion stands for.

    March 5, 2014 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  20. juststephen250

    I guess I'm one of the 40% that actually believes and tries to uphold what the Bible says.

    March 5, 2014 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  21. Mike

    Just cause 60% agree with it, doesn't make it right. America is a country who hasn't known God or morals in a long long time

    March 5, 2014 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  22. goblackhawks

    If this is true .. next election let's put it to a vote .. instead of having judges make the the decision ...

    March 5, 2014 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  23. Sylvie

    If you are against gay marriage because of religious reasons, you can't impose your religious dogma on the rest of us. If you think it threatens hetero marriage, statistics don't bear that out (we've had gay marriage here in Canada for a number of years and our divorce rate is relatively unchanged).

    March 5, 2014 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  24. rs

    blakenaustin

    Nearly 60% means that more than 40% do NOT support gay marriage. Which is an amazing statistic considering the relentless, 24×7 propoganda that has come out of the far left media for the past three decades. And the wholehearted promotion of this agenda by the Obama administration. I wonder how many of the less than 60% are simply caving into very intense PC pressure and the relentless use of terms like "bigot" by the far left to characterize those that don't share their perspective and their agenda.
    ____________________________
    Unfortunately for your argument, the Right has been pushing laws like Arizona's SB 1062 in states that enshrines the right of people to discriminate against Gays (and anyone else where "sincere religious beliefs" can be brought to bear. the only people making a big deal out of this are the bigots on the Right. Equal rights isn't an agenda- it's the law.

    March 5, 2014 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  25. spudnik56

    The other 40% are morons...

    March 5, 2014 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
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