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

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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. Jim

    Folks are scared to death that they will be called names if they don't go along with whatever farce is the current craze. It's like Pharrell's hat. He looks like a fool, but everybody is afraid to say so, so his hat is a hit. Being blinded to your own foolishness doesn't make you any less foolish. Polls are useless when the population polled is so much smaller than the population which it represents, and even more useless when the demographic for the poll is chosen to make sure the outcome is what you want. CNN is the clown of the news worl, and stives to make news, not report it.. Whatever makes you feel better about yourself, whether it's real or imagined, is all that matters now-a-days. Feelings are imaginary, and useless. I hope you feel better.

    March 5, 2014 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  2. Sniffit

    "God help us, and the good news is he will."

    I see. Will that be in the form of tornadoes or floods? Please do tell...I'd like to be prepared.

    March 5, 2014 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  3. candycoatedapple

    I'm proud to be with the 40%.

    March 5, 2014 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  4. Kathy, AZ

    ----–Of course we do. Why should we deny others the right to be miserable in a marriage too?

    March 5, 2014 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  5. Swedge70

    Seriously, has anybody ever heard one single solitary legitimate reason why they shouldn't? I certainly haven't.

    March 5, 2014 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  6. Sniffit

    ""God help us, and the good news is he will."

    I see. Will that be in the form of tornadoes or floods? Or hey, maybe raining men...I mean frogs? Please do tell...I'd like to be prepared.

    March 5, 2014 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  7. He>I

    Yes we have become a nation of laws that our President and our AG will not enforce!

    March 5, 2014 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  8. TheNewLeft

    I took a statistics class and then some. And any intellegent persons knows how easily stats can be manipulated and presented.

    March 5, 2014 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  9. Lao Tieu Phu

    That only 60% of gay & lesbian communities.

    March 5, 2014 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  10. candycoatedapple

    I'm proud to be with the 40 percent.

    March 5, 2014 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  11. rs


    So after polling 1002 people in a country of 313 million they've assumed that their poll speaks for the majority of the country?
    Ever hear of the concept of sampling?

    March 5, 2014 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  12. candycoatedapple

    I am the forty percent.

    March 5, 2014 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  13. ShawnDH

    mark edwards cried: "This just shows the moral decline of our country. We are headed down a very slippery slope much like the Romans of old. God help us, and the good news is he will."

    So, your "morality" revolves around mindless discrimination and oppression of your fellow Americans? That's not morality. It's bigotry and it's wrong. If you're going to make a "slippery slope" argument, there has to be something scary at the end of the slope, and people having the same rights, protections and freedoms YOU have is not scary. Love is not scary.

    March 5, 2014 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  14. TheNewLeft

    I really liked the post that stated how bigoted and short sighted CNN is by not concentrating the article on the 40% who are correct in supporting traditional marriage.

    March 5, 2014 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  15. Steve

    The New Left – mine are all getting censored too. I don't know what your post was on, but something tells me CNN does not want a logical argument for the conjugal (traditional) view of marriage presented. I am not using any terms I do not already see others using, and none of my posts are anything close to hateful or anything like that.

    March 5, 2014 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  16. Wake up People!

    Ol'Yeller..... You're my guy more and more each day!!!

    March 5, 2014 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  17. ShawnDH

    rs whined: "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?"

    I'm glad you are so proud of being a bigot. Good job! Great "values" there. Also, gay isn't a lifestyle and it's not a choice. You have no idea what you are talking about. And no, just because somebody isn't just like you does not make something a birth defect. FAIL.

    March 5, 2014 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  18. Greg

    Hasn't gay marriage lost in 45 out of 48 votes? I guess it's another CNN poll!

    March 5, 2014 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  19. Silence DoGood

    Suspect they got the sample from the Dem voters. Anyways America is on the decline. Russia is kicking out butts militarily and China is going to economically. Our children can't get a decent job. Families are collapsing. Our borders are porous.
    America is not the leader in patents. I could go on but the markers are all going into the toilet.
    And if it were up to the Christian Theocracy folks, we would remove most science and part of history from the classroom. Then we would be turning out some fine engineers and scientists to compete in the world – NOT.

    March 5, 2014 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  20. reynoldsmc75

    As soon as the 70 and 80 year olds are all dead everything will be fine. Let them sit around and watch Lawrence Welk re-runs and fox news until their tickers give out. Then this country, like the rest of the world will move on.

    March 5, 2014 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  21. If you believe THAT...........

    Oh yeah! And SUPPOSEDLY 60% of Americans were in favor of legalizing abortion.

    But Dr Bernard Nathanson admitted that he and the other NARAL doctors who fought for abortion LIED – they made up the figure of 60% to convince people that they "had" majority support.

    Those dishonest doctors also SUPPRESSED their evidence that life DOES begin at conception.

    And all for $500 MILLION a year collective salaries for abortionists.

    If it's disgusting, unnatural or inhuman – they'll ALWAYS quote the majority as being in favor!

    March 5, 2014 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
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