Polling continues to demonstrate impact of President Obama’s support for marriage
June 05, 2012
Nearly a month after President Barack Obama voiced his support for the freedom to marry, polls across the country are continuing to demonstrate the positive impact that his statement has had on public opinions on marriage. Last month, polls from Maryland and Washington indicated that a majority of Americans in those states - 57 percent and 55 percent of those polled, respectively - supported marriage for same-sex couples. A high-profile survey from The Washington Post and ABC just one week after the President's announcement also showed record support for the freedom to marry.
The Minnesota poll honed in on opinions about a proposed constitutional amendment that will appear on the state's ballot this November. The amendment would constitutionally ban marriage between same-sex couples in the state. The poll shows that only 43 percent of voters surveyed say they support the proposed anti-gay amendment, while 49 percent of respondents voiced their opposition. The Public Policy Polling report on the MN survey elaborates with further statistics:
Voters in the state think gay marriage should be legal by a 47/42 margin, closely matching the numbers on the amendment. And when you expand the discussion to civil unions 75% of voters support some form of legal recognition for gay couples to only 21% who think there should be none. That includes even 55% of Republicans.
In surveys out of of Pennsylvania and Missouri, we're seeing that rising support for the freedom to marry among African-Americans is pushing overall support for relationship recognition higher than ever. In a Pennsylvania survey from late May, 42 percent of black Pennsylvanians surveyed said they support the freedom to marry, a huge jump from 34 percent in November. Overall, 39 percent of respondents in Pennsylvania said they support the freedom to marry - although when discussion is expanded to include civil unions, 68 percent said they support relationship recognition for same-sex couples.
A poll out of Missouri shows similar results, with 50 percent of black respondents saying they support marriage for same-sex couples. According to the Public Policy Polling report, this is "twice the level of support" from African-Americans recorded in the state back in January. The Missouri poll also indicates climbing support for legal relationship recognition, with 64 percent of respondents voicing saying that same-sex couples should either be able to marry or form civil unions, a 4-point jump from January.
Finally, a poll out of Michigan indicates that 41 percent of Michigan respondents support the freedom to marry, while 70 percent of respondents say they support either marriage or civil unions.
This flurry of polls, when examined alongside the polls from Maryland, Washington, and the United States overall, is evidence that each and every day, Americans are taking the time to consider why the freedom to marry is so important. It is clear that in light of President Obama's groundbreaking announcement - and the hundreds of other recent developments on marriage this month - people are stepping back to scrutinize their own views on marriage. Clearly, more and more Americans are coming to the conclusion that by supporting marriage for all couples, they are supporting their friends, family members, and neighbors.
It is important to recognize the growing number of people embracing the freedom to marry, but it is also imperative that we do not become complacent with these climbing numbers. We must continue to actively engage diverse cross-sections of the population in conversations about why marriage matters to same-sex couples and their families. We must continue to invest time and money in the marriage campaign and more fully develop a national climate for victory. We must continue to seize the moment, win more states, and persuade hearts and minds across the country that the only way to sufficiently protect same-sex couples and their families is by granting the freedom to marry for all.