Latino support of the freedom to marry continues to soar

In the past two weeks, media outlets and LGBT organizations, including Freedom to Marry, have highlighted the recent surge in support for the freedom to marry among black Americans. Following President Barack Obama's announcement that he supports the freedom to marry for same-sex couples, a poll from The Washington Post and ABC demonstrated that a majority of black Americans surveyed - 59 percent - said they agree with the President.

While support from black Americans is remarkably encouraging, it is also important to continually highlight the soaring support for the freedom to marry among Latinos in the United States. In recent years, the Latino community's support for marriage has climbed higher and higher; a 2011 poll even showed that a majority of Latinos felt that gay and lesbian couples should have the freedom to marriage. 

Jeff Krehely at the Center for American Progress discussed the importance of acknowledging Latino support for the freedom to marry earlier today. He comments that the recent focus on African-American reaction to the President's announcement "inadvertently masks the views of Latinos, the nation's largest and fastest-growing minority group. ... Numerous surveys tell us that Latinos are by and large supportive of laws that extend the rights and responsibilities of marriage to same-sex couples. A 2011 survey of Latinos found that even then 54 percent supported full marriage equality, compared to about 53 percent of the general public at the time. This same survey found that Latinos who identify as Catholic support marriage equality at a slightly higher rate of 57 percent."

In April of this year, a study from the Pew Hispanic Center again demonstrated significant support for gay and lesbian Americans overall. According to the study's findings:

When asked whether homosexuality should be accepted or discouraged by society, majorities of Latinos (59 percent) and of the U.S. general public (58 percent) say it should be accepted. Meanwhile, 30 percent of Latinos and 33 percent of the general public say homosexuality should be discouraged.

Views on homosexuality vary somewhat by immigrant generation. Just over half (53 percent) of immigrant Hispanics say homosexuality should be accepted. Among second-generation Hispanics, this share rises to 68 percent. Among third-generation Hispanics, it is 63 percent.

Support for the freedom to marry among the Latino community in the United States is of monumental importance in our goal of advancing marriage for same-sex couples nationwide. The community's commitment to family and respect for others should be celebrated and continually encouraged.