Support for Marriage Equality Accelerates

Jim Burroway

August 15th, 2014

America’s growing support for marriage equality is rapidly accelerating, with support in the latest McClatchy-Marist poll now at 54-38 percent. It’s 75-19 for those aged eighteen through twenty-nine, and solid majorities support marriage equality in all age groups up to age sixty. And even for those above sixty, opposition has now fallen to the fifty percent mark. What’s driving this huge shift from just a few years ago?

By 71-27 percent, American adults say they know someone who’s gay. That’s a dramatic change from a generation ago, when a 1999 Pew poll found that Americans said by 60-39 percent that they didn’t know anyone who was gay. … The personal experience makes a big difference. Those who know someone who’s gay support same-sex marriage by 61-31 percent. Those who say they don’t know anyone who’s gay oppose same-sex marriage by 57-36 percent.

One would think this news would be demoralizing for the National Organization for Marriage and other marriage equality opponents. These results also show the kind of dilemma the Republican Party will be facing the next several years:

There are still opponents. Republicans oppose same-sex marriage by better than 2-1. Tea party supporters oppose it by nearly 3-1.

…And while there’s been vocal opposition, the poll found that virtually any movement in public opinion has been in favor of same-sex marriage. Twelve percent of adults have switched from opposition to support; just 1 percent changed from support to opposition.

Gus

August 15th, 2014

…but, but, but the Tea Party is Libertarian!

Really Teavangelicals for the most part.

FYoung

August 15th, 2014

This is great news. Now, we need to focus on stopping religious special rights to discriminate.

Victor

August 15th, 2014

Polls are not elections. Most LGBT people do not hold enough power over their friends and family to get them to not vote for an anti-gay candidate if that candidate meets other criterion they like. For example: I have cousins who are all anti-anything-Obama Teabaggers. The fact that I am gay and they love my partner will not factor into their voting and I don’t even try because they are lost in the Alternate Reality of the Faux News Universe. So I think this preoccupation with pro-gay shifting polls – though they may be predictive of future trends – has little bearing on current elections. Until LGBT people resolve to demand their Tealiban relatives stop voting for anti-gay idiots – and are willing to risk collateral destruction of their families – these polls themselves will not matter. I won’t do this to my family. I cannot expect other people to do it to theirs.

Ben in Oakland

August 15th, 2014

The enemy is, and always has been, the closet.

Mark F.

August 15th, 2014

@Victor. At this point we are seeing a few Republican politicians come around to a pro-gay position. It’s not happening that fast, but it did make a difference in IL, where the Democrats did not have the votes to pass SSM. However, we can hope SCOTUS decides the issue in our favor soon, so it won’t matter anymore.

Spunky

August 15th, 2014

I can’t imagine the population who switched from being pro- to anti-gay marriage. Maybe they spoke with the most obnoxious equality supports who drove them to take the opposite position out of spite? Maybe their partners left them to get gay-married like this guy?

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