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. goblackhawks

    Timmy ... it will never be the "norm" ... Let's have plural marriage, marriage to cousins , animals ... after all it is all about love .. isn't it ?

    March 5, 2014 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  2. rs


    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
    And that's because we are not a Theocratic nation.

    March 5, 2014 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  3. Adam Leggett

    I'm impressed that the over-65 number is as high as it is.

    March 5, 2014 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  4. Melissa

    No one asked us–or anyone we know–so this poll does not reflect true numbers, and is not accurate.

    March 5, 2014 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  5. Tom

    That "poll" has probably been conducted among CNN staff. Cheers.

    March 5, 2014 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  6. Barry Boy

    BullROAR there is NO way 60 % back something this sickening

    March 5, 2014 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  7. GoISU

    I wasn't polled. I'm with the 40%, which I would guess is larger than the 40% actually reported.

    March 5, 2014 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  8. Matrix

    marriage something the government should not concern itself with. Let it be handled as a contract. People should be free to enter contracts with whomever they choose.

    March 5, 2014 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  9. whatever123

    @Say What?

    Yes, statistics are often complex to those that don't understand them. Cry as much as you like, these are accurate numbers.

    March 5, 2014 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  10. onepercenter

    This is media bs. No one has ever asked me. I have never known anyone who has been asked. The liberal pollsters call 50 of their liberal friends and then project the results to population of the US. 'goblackhawks' is right. Put it on a national ballot if you've got the guts!

    March 5, 2014 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  11. solomonsez

    It is an outright rejection of God's foundational truths and the evil undermining of God's will and natural order for the good of His creation. Man rejects God...nothing new under heaven. Come quickly Lord Jesus!

    March 5, 2014 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  12. GonzoinHouston

    I still like the late George Carlin's view on gay marriage: "I'm in favor of gay marriage. I think gay people should have the right to be just as miserable as straight people."

    March 5, 2014 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  13. Rick

    I would just like to thank all the ppl who see me as a person and recognize my want and expectation for equality. I want to thank each and everyone of you who are tolerant and show REAL human values. I promise as a gay American that I will do the best I can to be the best citizen, to make the right choices for my American community. I promise to live the values of the American dream and stand tall for all my country men and women. And as every American, I will chose to be the BEST that I can be for the betterment of our country. AMERICANS BLESS AMERICA. I thank you for every opportunity that you give me. Rick Mullans rickmullans at yahoo

    March 5, 2014 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  14. 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

    March 5, 2014 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  15. simon

    1000 people polled? Hardly the opinion of the rest of the 300 million. CNN, you are trying too hard..

    March 5, 2014 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  16. Name

    No way does 60% of this country back this. No way

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

    CNN propaganda!

    March 5, 2014 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  18. 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.

    March 5, 2014 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  19. goblackhawks

    CNN .. must have missed the story about Ms. Lerner and the IRS ... oh yes no scandal here (5th Amndmnt) .. I bet Richard Nixon wishes he had this "press" ... No story here ... let's have a story about the pizza guy at the oscar's .. CNN or TMZ which has harder hitting news ...

    March 5, 2014 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  20. LOL

    It can be 60% – but at the end we all will face God and give account to every word we said. Bible says about our deeds – God says nobody unclean will enter the Kingdom of God. Hell is real and many people visited it. Google it..This is so obvious – interesting that people don't see the truth. There is more beyond our lives.

    March 5, 2014 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  21. QS

    Conservatives are a lost cause. What use is continuing trying to educate them when they see such education as "evil" because it inherently contradicts their unethical ideology and religious indoctrination?

    These people have more in common with people like Putin and it's painfully obvious at this point that they have no interest in coexistence unless everybody else capitulates and simply allows their beliefs to become law that we all must follow.

    Conservatives seem to hate the fact that this country won't simply let them have their way; they despise diversity as evidenced in their actions towards anybody different from them, and they seem to loathe the very concept of freedom of religion because they see that as a way to allow others to believe differently than them.

    Truly, they seem to hate everything that this country stands for....when it is applied to others they disagree with and who they don't believe are worthy of having the same rights as them.

    March 5, 2014 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  22. Daniel Balint

    I agree with ronss.

    March 5, 2014 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  23. rs


    God doesn't consider gays married and neither do I.
    God must be very pleased to have you speak for him.

    March 5, 2014 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  24. Treebeard


    I guess I'm one of the 40% that actually believes and tries to uphold what the Bible says.
    You eat shell fish ?
    Wear clothing of different fabrics ?
    Cut your hair ?
    Believe in slavery ?

    Or you just pick and choose the parts YOU want to follow !

    March 5, 2014 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  25. somethingtasty

    I love how all of the conservative posters are saying that because they weren't personally polled, the numbers are made up. Never took a stats class in college did you? Or go to college?

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