A narrow majority of Americans support
allowing gay and lesbian couples to marry, a
new AP poll released Monday found.
When asked, “Should the Federal
Government give legal recognition to marriages between couples of the
same sex, or not?” 52 percent of respondents answered “yes” and
46 percent responded “no.”
A CNN survey released last month asked
about gay marriage with two different questions, but
on average a slim majority (50.5%) of respondents said they support
the institution. It was the first nationwide survey with a
majority favoring marriage equality.
“For the second time, a national poll
shows that a majority of Americans support the freedom to marry,
reflecting the growing momentum of the marriage movement and a
growing awareness in America of who gay people are and why marriage
matters to same-sex couples and their families,” Evan Wolfson,
executive director of Freedom to Marry, said in a statement.
The nationwide telephone poll of 1,007
adults also found that 58 percent of respondents agree that gay and
lesbian couples should be entitled to the same government benefits as
married couples of the opposite sex, a 7 point increase from 2008.
In another question, pollsters also
found that a large majority (62%) of those surveyed believe the
“rights of everyone should be protected, even when that means
saying no to something the majority of people want to happen.”
“Even in a moment in which most
people are focused on the economy and unemployment, Americans are
still speaking up for our country's core values that the majority
should not deny a minority its rights and that we must uphold the
Constitution's enduring promise of equal protection for all,”
Pollsters began their survey on August
11, a week after a federal judge declared California's gay marriage
ban, Proposition 8, unconstitutional. The poll has a margin of error
of 4.5 percentage points.