Gallup Poll: Majority of Americans support gay marriage
Author: Catalina Camia
Publication: USA Today
Publication Date: May 20th, 2011
Click here to read the full article at USAToday.com
A majority of Americans say in a new poll that same-sex marriage should be legalized, marking the first time for such support since Gallup began tracking the issue in 2004.
Support for gay marriage jumped nine percentage points to 53%, largely due to an increase from independents and Democrats, the Gallup surveyshowed. Forty-five percent of Americans believe same-sex couples should not have the same rights as those in traditional marriage.
The survey comes as states such as New York gear up for heated battles over same-sex marriage. And two years ago this month, the California Supreme Court struck down Proposition 8, a controversial ballot measure banning gay marriage.
"Americans believe in the Golden Rule of treating others as they themselves want to be treated," said Evan Wolfson, founder of the advocacy group Freedom to Marry. "This growth in support in nearly every segment of the public, including people formerly opposed, shows that elected officials and judges who end the cruel exclusion from marriage are on the right side of history and delivering not just what loving and committed couples and their families need, but what the majority of Americans want."
Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont and the District of Columbia allow same-sex marriages.
The new Gallup Poll showed 69% of Democrats and 59% of independents now support same-sex marriage, both double-digit increases from last year's survey. Nearly 3 in 10 Republicans, or 28%, support gay marriage -- the same showing as last year.
The Obama administration recently decided to stop defending the federal Defense of Marriage Act, which bans the federal recognition of same-sex marriage, saying it no longer found the law to be constitutional. President Obama does not support gay marriage, but has said his own views on the subject are "evolving."
House Speaker John Boehner and Republicans in Congress have hired their own lawyer to defend the law, known as DOMA.
The Gallup survey of 1,018 adults was taken May 5-8 and has a margin of error of +/- 4 percentage points.