Over the past decade, there has been a dramatic change in support for same-sex marriage in the United States. Consider this: in 2007, the Pew Research Center conducted a national poll, which found that just 37% of Americans were in favor, while 54% were opposed. By contrast, this year’s poll found quite the reversal: nearly two-thirds (62%) are now in favor, with 32% opposed. This all-time high comes just two years after the Supreme Court decision that legalized same-sex marriage nationwide.
The most fascinating thing about Pew’s latest poll isn’t just that same-sex marriage has reached a new high-water mark—it’s that certain segments of the population that have historically been opposed to same-sex marriage are now at majority support for the first time ever. Specifically, more than half of Baby Boomers and African Americans now favor same-sex marriage.
Just two years ago, 45% of Baby Boomers supported same-sex marriage—that number today is 56%. African Americans showed a similarly large increase in the same amount of time, with the number going from 39% back in 2015 to 51% today.
Though Republicans haven’t yet reached majority support, the number in favor (47%) is now virtually tied with the number opposed (48%). That’s still a very significant change, considering that just 34% of Republicans were in favor of same-sex marriage in 2015.
It’s worth noting that younger Republicans are at majority support, with 60% of millennials and 51% of Generation X’ers in favor. By contrast 42% of Boomer Republicans are in favor, whereas among those who are older, that number drops to 29%.
That said, what we’re seeing here is a massive increase in support for same-sex marriage across virtually all segments of the U.S. population. And while this trend is one that has long been underway, the data would seem to suggest that legalization has played a pivotal role in boosting support to its highest levels on record.
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Image Sources: 123RF, Pew Research Center
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