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

    Why bother getting married anymore? marriage is a farce! A joke! All marriages do is cause problems and unnecessary monetary expenses on people, and eventually people divorce. Many end up in violence and even death for one or the other married partner. So why waste money on some imaginary ceremony. Marriages don't work or last. GET RID OF THAT STUPID CONCEPT........MARRIAGE.

    March 5, 2014 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  2. TiskTiskTisk

    And the Pope ...WOW... what a time to be living, so much change is in the air. Man is becoming social and the ones that can't are hiding deeper. Nothing wrong with all that news! I'm not even gay and I think its cool that equal rights should extend to everyone no matter what we think is right and wrong.

    March 5, 2014 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  3. Peter Sai

    Right, which country was this poll ? Sweden or something

    March 5, 2014 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  4. rs

    ronss

    anit-religious...immorral...what has happen to our countrty..to support such disgusting behavior ..t.he other countrys of the world laugh at us, and our toliet court system
    __________________________________
    By all means, consider relocating to Uganda- it sounds just right for you.

    March 5, 2014 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  5. Silence DoGood

    @Mike
    God doesn't consider gays married and neither do I. I really don't care if its legal for gays to marry. When a gay person tells me they are married I feel like they are playing pretend like children. Which is all good cuz I'm sure gay marriage supporters don't care what religious people believe as long as it's legal.
    ----------
    lesson 1 – there are gay religious people that (gasp) have a different belief than you
    lesson 2 – you live in a country (US) with Freedom of religion, not a particular Christian sect country
    lesson 3 – we are a lawful country, not a theocracy – that is why John Adams swore in on a book of law, not the bible

    March 5, 2014 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  6. Tampa Tim

    Mike – The next time God talks to you about Gay marriage, can you ask him unnecessary wars, poor people, and tax cuts for the wealthy?

    March 5, 2014 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  7. Moomoomoo

    So many bigots on these boards.

    March 5, 2014 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  8. Ol' Yeller

    Man... what happened?
    I thought it was hate the sin, love the sinner... not the other way around.
    If you folks don't want to get gay married, then don't. If you folks don't want an abortion, then don't get one. If you don't like the way pot mellows your tequila binge, then don't smoke it. But for the love of Christ, stop trying to interefere with everyone else's choices. So many of you seem to have a this uncontrolable desire to dictate what everyone else needs to be doing.
    That's not very Christian....

    March 5, 2014 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  9. Daniel

    I still find it amusing that Christians are STILL trying to stop these laws from taking effect. If you don't like gay marriage, don't get married to a gay person. Easy as that. The founding fathers created separation of church and state for a reason, so all of you who are complaining its wrong in YOUR gods eyes clearly do not understand this concept. Your religion can be against whatever the hell it wants but as soon as it starts infringing on another persons right to happiness, that's where it crosses the line. You are no better than the White supremisists that did not want to give African Americans rights, or Men who were dead set on women having no rights. There are bigger problems in this world than this, wake up and move on. For all of you that say " You're going to hell for believing that." My atoms were forged in Supernova, your hell does not scare me. And please don't pray for my soul, if you truly believe pray works, pray for the millions of innocent children that starve everyday.

    March 5, 2014 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  10. badger1217

    Balderdash – figures can lie and liar can figure. We had primaries locally and on the ballot was asking if one backed state legislation defining marriage as 1 man and 1 woman. The paper had that winning with 93%. And this isnt a rural area. Major metro area. So I think they are being very selective in who they and where they are polling. Because it isn't representative a most Americans.

    March 5, 2014 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  11. Daniel

    I still find it amusing that Christians are STILL trying to stop these laws from taking effect. If you don't like gay marriage, don't get married to a gay person. Easy as that. The founding fathers created separation of church and state for a reason, so all of you who are complaining its wrong in YOUR gods eyes clearly do not understand this concept. Your religion can be against whatever the hell it wants but as soon as it starts infringing on another persons right to happiness, that's where it crosses the line. You are no better than the White supremacists that did not want to give African Americans rights, or Men who were dead set on women having no rights. There are bigger problems in this world than this, wake up and move on. For all of you that say " You're going to hell for believing that." My atoms were forged in Supernova, your hell does not scare me. And please don't pray for my soul, if you truly believe pray works, pray for the millions of innocent children that starve everyday.

    March 5, 2014 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  12. Silence DoGood

    @simon
    1000 people polled? Hardly the opinion of the rest of the 300 million. CNN, you are trying too hard..
    ---------
    Um, that is why it is called a POLL.
    This is why we need more science and math in schools, not less.
    I tell you what, you call all 300 million and report back to us.
    Then read what a statistical POLL is.

    March 5, 2014 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  13. doc

    Let's all agree to live by the Bible.
    Anyone who curses their mom or dad must be killed (Leviticus 12:9)
    Anyone who commits adultery (both persons) shall be put to death (Leviticus 12:10)
    We should not plant two different plants in the same garden (Leviticus 19:19 AND Deuteronomy 22:9)
    We should not wear clothes that are blend of two or more fabrics (Deuteronomy 22:11)

    Men should not shave (Leviticus 19:27)

    I could go on for days....

    March 5, 2014 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  14. Hillcrester

    The age-group demographic data tell you where this is headed. Dying senior voters are replaced by new 18 year-olds who support SSM by 25 percentage points more.

    March 5, 2014 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  15. Ol' Yeller

    "God doesn't consider gays married and neither do I"

    Hold the phone, Folks, It appears Mike here has a direct line to God (him and about a billion others). Let's all wait around breathlessly until he tells us what God wants.
    I hope it doesn't involve drinking any sweet beverages from an old mop bucket....

    March 5, 2014 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  16. Gordo

    Not surprising news to me. People evolve. A few hold onto the past, fighting with all their might to stop evolution from happening to them. Those who refuse to move forward are those whom I pity the most.

    March 5, 2014 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  17. Chris

    At one time 60% supported Obama too. That does not mean a thing. It's a srvey from ABC news and the story is from – just how slanted do you think the questions were?

    I'll proudly state I am amongst the 40% who thinks it is an unnatural lifestyle choice. If you claim it is genetic than can we agree it is a birth defect?

    March 5, 2014 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  18. crh

    I bet CNN didn't poll any Muslims, all you secular humanists blame Christians when there are other faiths that don't support gay marriage.

    March 5, 2014 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  19. Silence DoGood

    “Christianity neither is, nor ever was a part of the common law.”
    ~Founding Father Thomas Jefferson, letter to Dr. Thomas Cooper, February 10, 1814

    March 5, 2014 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  20. Snow

    I love how people say God this or God that. May I remind you that not everyone is of the Christian faith. Does anybody ever stop to consider that? Even with this being said, who are we to care about other people's buisness? They aren't interfering with our lives, and I believe we owe everyone in this world the same respect.

    March 5, 2014 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  21. Dr. B.

    lol. People now not accepting a well respected valid poll because they don't like the numbers. How sad. The exciting thing is that the younger you are the more supportive. This means that the number will grow as the rigid older people die off. It won't be long this won't be an issue. As far as polygamy, plural marriage was a commandment of God according to the Mormon church. It was an important part of their religion until the Federal government passed their judgment and forced them to give it up, clearly violating freedom of religion. Plural marriage would be a return of freedom of religion for the Mormons who were really shafted by the other Christian denominations.

    March 5, 2014 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  22. Harley

    There is NO way the poll number is correct. You need a large sample.

    March 5, 2014 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  23. Xannieh

    "God doesn't consider gays married and neither do I. I really don't care if its legal for gays to marry. When a gay person tells me they are married I feel like they are playing pretend like children. Which is all good cuz I'm sure gay marriage supporters don't care what religious people believe as long as it's legal."

    That is fine, that is your prerogative, many people don't believe in god and feel that people push the religion far too much into people's faces....and honestly when I hear SOME Christians speak I get confused as to how can some be so willingly ignorant. But... I would never ever begin to tell people how they should feel. Honestly Gay marriage in truth is truly none of your or mine business just as the fact that what I believe in is none of anyone's business. What the poll shows though that there IS hope for this wonderful country, that people do believe in equality....and it's just a few very vocal few that just because THEY believe it's wrong...then everyone else HAS to follow THEIR belief. I myself , a woman over 40 with a wonderful husband who I have been married to for 20 years as of fall with a wonderful 18 year old son, believe that everyone should be allowed to love who they fall in love with.

    March 5, 2014 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  24. Ladies and gentlemen, please rest your sphincters.

    LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL!!!!!! I feed on your anger and rage. Y'all so mad! It's cute watching you try to hate and discredit the things you don't want to hear. Keep the denial going! Your opinion will continue to matter less and less.

    You Bible thumpers ain't that different from the Taliban. They don't like gay marriage either. You guys got so much more in common with them than you thought! You guys should build on that.

    But enough with your religious proselytizing, please. Nobody wants to hear that noise. You think you're all so high and mighty and moral, but you're just spewing trash and are such hypocrites. Your belief in God only makes you a good person in your mind. Your actions here are the only relevant ones and frankly you guys aren't doing too well. You think you're a good person by bossing them around with your silly fairy tales? Close your mouths and open your ears and eyes instead. Learn tolerance. Learn acceptance. Or is that stuff not covered in scripture?

    March 5, 2014 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  25. TheNewLeft

    CNN and other lefty news outlets have been brainwashing t Americans with 1,2 and sometimes more articles a day promoting pro gay hopes and wishes. Stop the brainwashing. America, wake up and don't be sheep. Think for yourselfs. You are not bigots for holding a different opinion and wanting to maintain marriage as being the union of one man and one woman. It's just the natural way of things.

    March 5, 2014 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
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