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. sly

    In 2-3 years no one will ever discuss gay marriage – kind of like legalizing inter-racial marriage. After about 1968 we never heard about it again.

    There will always be the 10% who dissent, but who cares – let them try to get their own laws.

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

    Why does my statement need moderation by censors at CNN?

    March 5, 2014 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  3. clevercandi

    The government has NO right to tell you whom you may or may not marry, just as they have NO right to tell you what you can and cannot do to your own body. PERIOD.

    March 5, 2014 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  4. sparkle hill

    i am a lesbian and me and my partner are raising my daughter and we've been together going on six years shes very smart.

    March 5, 2014 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |

    The conservative people are heated right now, because 60% of Americans aren't bigots and/or idoits like they are!

    March 5, 2014 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  6. Chuck Anziulewicz


    My parents have been happily married for almost 57 years. Speak for yourself.

    March 5, 2014 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  7. The Bible Tells Me So

    Women should not wear men's clothes (Deuteronomy 22:5)
    God will punish people who have a proud heart (Proverbs 16:5)
    Liars will burn in a lake of fire and brimstone (Revelation 21:8)
    We should never see any of our family naked (Leviticus 18:6-18)

    March 5, 2014 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  8. Anonymous

    Well 80% of people didn't belive we should go to war gainst Germany in WW2. shows you the larger numbers aren't always right

    March 5, 2014 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  9. Tommy in Wilton

    The latest nail in the coffin of social conservatism-

    March 5, 2014 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  10. jack2

    80% of people didn't think we should go to war against germany in WW2. Shows you that bigger numbers doesn't mean you're right

    March 5, 2014 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  11. Steve

    Is there a delay between posting and seeing it here, or are my posts just not going through?

    March 5, 2014 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  12. rs

    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?
    Wow! And you think you represent Christianity?

    March 5, 2014 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  13. 2L

    The margin of error is about 3.5% – not too bad, but could be a little more accurate if they polled a few hundred more people.

    March 5, 2014 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  14. Silence DoGood

    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.
    And there are faiths including some Christian ones that do support gay marriage.
    And that doesn't matter because the USA is a country of Laws, not Religion.

    March 5, 2014 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  15. Anonymous

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

    March 5, 2014 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  16. Larry L

    I wonder how many people, especially in the South, would have approved of interracial marriages in the 1950s. For that matter... even now that's likely an issue in many locations.

    March 5, 2014 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  17. grey

    There are 3 kinds of lies...lies, damn lies, & poll's...go to a gay rally & you'd get 100% in favor..go to a holiness church & you'd get a 100% against.

    All polls are biased toward the arthors view points.

    March 5, 2014 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  18. timeforchange

    why does it even matter? it does not hurt anyone it does not change anything, and why is this only an American debate?we are not the only place in the world that have gay people ... suck it up the days of old white fat men telling people what to do is over.

    March 5, 2014 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  19. ShawnDH

    This is good...because there isn't a single rational, thoughtful, logical reason to oppose gay marriage. Not one. None.

    March 5, 2014 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  20. mark edwards

    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.

    March 5, 2014 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  21. Silly Xtians

    Your bigotry is losing power every year. Gay marriage isn't disgusting. You're hatred of humanity is.

    March 5, 2014 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  22. JT

    "God doesn't consider gays married and neither do I." Prove it!

    God doesn't believe in your hate.

    March 5, 2014 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  23. ricke1949

    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.

    March 5, 2014 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  24. ShawnDH

    Mike whined: "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."

    Well you're right. We don't care about your religion because it's totally irrelevant to equality under the law in the 21st-century United States. Also, you are not God and are in no position to speak for him...or her.

    March 5, 2014 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  25. Sniffit

    "Never took a stats class in college did you? Or go to college?"

    Reminder: You're asking that of people who think that gutting tax revenue increases gov't income. Most of them still can't work a freekin abacus.

    March 5, 2014 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
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