A majority of Americans support equal
marriage rights for gay and lesbian couples, a CNN poll has found.
According to the survey released
Wednesday, fifty-four percent of Americans support gay marriage and
42 percent remain opposed.
The number of respondents who said they
have a close friend or family member who is gay has jumped to 60
percent, an 11 percentage point increase since 2000.
“Attitudes toward sexual orientation
have also changed over that same time period,” said
CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. “In 1998, a majority
believed that someone who is gay or lesbian could change their sexual
orientation if they choose to do so. Today, only a third feel that
way, and the number who say that gays and lesbians cannot change
their orientation is almost six in ten. Those shifts probably
explain the growing acceptance of same-sex marriage.”
Seventy percent of Democrats and sixty
percent of independents support gay nuptials, while 72 percent of
Republicans remain opposed. A majority (55%) of those over 50 oppose
marriage equality, while nearly two-thirds of those under 50 favor
The poll, conducted by ORC
International from May 29-31, questioned 1,009 adults by telephone.