Support for same-sex marriage increases as momentum grows in states
May 21st, 2014
02:06 PM ET
2 months ago

Support for same-sex marriage increases as momentum grows in states

(CNN) – As a string of federal judges across the country have struck down several state bans on same-sex marriage, over half of Americans support the move to allow same-sex couples to legally wed.

A Gallup survey released Wednesday showed 55% of respondents approve of laws granting same-sex couples equal rights to traditional marriages. That's an all-time high in a Gallup survey since it started asking about the issue in 1996, when only 27% surveyed said same-sex marriages should be valid.

An ABC News/Washington Post survey conducted two months ago indicated an even higher percentage of support. In that survey, nearly six in ten respondents said gay or lesbian couples should be able to legally wed.

Both national polls were conducted after federal judges struck down a series of state bans on same-sex marriage and prohibitions on recognizing such unions performed in other states.

On Tuesday, a federal judge in Pennsylvania struck down its ban on same-sex marriage, following closely behind a decision in Oregon to do the same on Monday. Including those two states, same-sex marriage is allowed in 19 states as well as the District of Columbia. That's a significant jump from about a decade ago when same-sex marriages were prohibited unanimously across the country.

The latest rulings mark yet another win for marriage equality advocates in their near-unbroken string of state and federal court victories nationwide in the past year.

State-by-state: A frenzied few months on the same-sex marriage front

Paving the way for the recent rulings was a U.S. Supreme Court decision last summer. In a split 5-4 decision, the high court 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.

Activists maintaining that marriage remain between a man and a woman aren't giving up the fight. Many decisions in the states striking down the ban have been stayed, pending appeals - meaning gay and lesbian couples can't marry in those states until an appeals court weighs in.

The Gallup survey was conducted from May 8-11 with 1,028 adults questioned by telephone. The poll's sampling error is plus or minus 5 percentage points.

CNN's Greg Botelho and Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report.


Filed under: Same-sex marriage
soundoff (18 Responses)
  1. much thunder...little rain

    those who believe there is no absolute truth...believe this... the media shows this type of lifestyle as if it is the norm....its not...if you tell a lie enough some people will believe it...

    May 21, 2014 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  2. Wake Up People! Many Rivers to cross.....

    The Michigan AG and the rest of the Michigan Confederate Party are doing everything they can to get the decision overturned. Schuette filed a stay that very next Monday.

    May 21, 2014 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  3. Jayball2

    "Norm" is whatever you want it to be. No one is asking for you to like or agree with gay marriage. I couldn't care less if someone disagrees and, in fact, I support their right to disagree. What gay couples want is equal rights. You may have the right to disagree, but you do not have the right to tell someone what they cannot do based on those views.

    May 21, 2014 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  4. DRJJ

    So about half of us disagree with redefining marriage to appease 3% of the poplutation?

    May 21, 2014 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  5. Rudy NYC

    much thunder...little rain

    those who believe there is no absolute truth...believe this... the media shows this type of lifestyle as if it is the norm....its not...if you tell a lie enough some people will believe it...
    --------------------------------
    How can you claim to want liberty and government out of your life, yet call for more government interference in the private lives of people in pursuit of their own happiness? Ah, you're a conservative, that's how. Deficits don't matter, and neither do blatant hypocrisies.

    May 21, 2014 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  6. Wake Up People! Many Rivers to cross.....

    Being black and raised in the church we were taught being gay is wrong. While no one can make me believe people are born gay I still respect their right to equal treatment and respect. No matter who they are with, they are still human beings and deserve the same rights as every other human being.

    So yes I support gay marriage.

    May 21, 2014 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  7. SOUTHERN HOTTIE

    @much thunder...little rain
    those who believe there is no absolute truth...believe this... the media shows this type of lifestyle as if it is the norm....its not...if you tell a lie enough some people will believe it...

    May 21, 2014 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
    ******************************************************************************************************************************************
    Let me guess: you're a christian, right?

    May 21, 2014 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  8. vikingwoman

    This would not be an issue but for the people who want to qualify who deserves 'equal' rights & who doesn't! The const.itution already protects All Americans rights, that's why these unlawful 'laws' are being struck down everywhere! As it should be!!

    May 21, 2014 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  9. Get Real

    When you have EXTREMISTS cramming a SOCIAL ISSUE down your THROAT 24 hours a day. The issue gets OLD really QUICK.

    May 21, 2014 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  10. Silence DoGood

    @SOUTHERN HOTTIE
    @much thunder...little rain
    those who believe there is no absolute truth...believe this... the media shows this type of lifestyle as if it is the norm....its not...if you tell a lie enough some people will believe it...

    May 21, 2014 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
    ******************************************************************************************************************************************
    Let me guess: you're a christian, right?
    ---------–
    And when they establish the Great Theocracy in this country we will all believe the same and be told who not to marry.
    Call me old fashioned but I like Freedom of Religious expression.
    “I am for freedom of religion and against all maneuvers to bring about a legal ascendancy of one sect over another.”
    ~Founding Father Thomas Jefferson, letter to Elbridge Gerry, January 26, 1799

    May 21, 2014 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  11. Silence DoGood

    @Rudy NYC
    much thunder...little rain

    those who believe there is no absolute truth...believe this... the media shows this type of lifestyle as if it is the norm....its not...if you tell a lie enough some people will believe it...
    ----------–
    How can you claim to want liberty and government out of your life, yet call for more government interference in the private lives of people in pursuit of their own happiness? Ah, you're a conservative, that's how. Deficits don't matter, and neither do blatant hypocrisies.
    ----------
    You didn't read the conservative's fine print. Conservative interference in private lives is OK.

    May 21, 2014 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  12. Silence DoGood

    @Get Real
    When you have EXTREMISTS cramming a SOCIAL ISSUE down your THROAT 24 hours a day. The issue gets OLD really QUICK.
    ----------
    Yes, but how do you get the radical Christians to stop it, and leave everyone alone? They don't listen.

    May 21, 2014 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  13. smith

    @Lynda-Well,, I agree with you that the VA is an overburden system. However, Bessy was implying the burden started as a result of the two recent wars. Like I said to Rudy the backlog is decades old. To be honest Im not really sure what the goverment can do except open more VA medical centers and staffing them properly.

    May 21, 2014 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  14. carlos

    Less government, huh? I guess those that don't agree with the GOP don't qualify for less government. Sharia law, anyone?

    May 21, 2014 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  15. CryBabies

    @ DRJJ...Its the "new" American way. Now if you will excuse me, I must return to "the war on women"" Much work, work, work to be done.

    May 21, 2014 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  16. NameHammerhead

    My my so many infidels

    May 21, 2014 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  17. Nancy bahe

    I do not support so-called gay.

    May 21, 2014 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  18. Sniffit

    "When you have EXTREMISTS cramming a SOCIAL ISSUE down your THROAT 24 hours a day. The issue gets OLD really QUICK.
    ----
    Yes, but how do you get the radical Christians to stop it, and leave everyone alone? They don't listen."

    Maybe try etching it on a stone and claiming some form of burning plantlife told you to do it.

    May 21, 2014 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |