A majority of people in 17 states now
support giving gay and lesbian couples the right to marry.
According to a special reported titled
Shows Americans Support LGBT People On All Issues released
Wednesday by the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation's largest
gay rights advocate, support for gay marriage has increased in all 50
“While the American people embrace
their LGBT friends and neighbors, government remains a lagging
indicator of acceptance,” HRC President Joe Solmonese said in a
statement. “The numbers don't lie. Americans want equal rights
for LGBT citizens and lawmakers should heed their call.”
Citing research conducted at Columbia
University, the report's authors found that as recently as 2004 such
unions did not have majority support in any state, and only 3 states
But in 2010, 17 states turned the
corner, including Delaware (50%), Nevada (50%), Maryland (51%),
Pennsylvania (51%), Oregon (52%), Colorado (52%), Washington (54%),
Hawaii (54%), Maine (55%), New Jersey (55%), New Hampshire (55%),
California (56%), Connecticut (57%), New York (58%), Vermont (59%)
and Rhode Island (60%).
Not surprisingly, the highest majority
(62%) was found in Massachusetts, the first state to legalize the
institution in 2005.
According to a 2008 statistical report
compiled by Nate Silver of the New York Times, another 10
states – including Iowa – are predicted to cross the 50%
threshold by 2013.
Five mostly New England states – New
Hampshire, Iowa, Connecticut, Vermont and Massachusetts – and the
District of Columbia have legalized the union.
Majorities also exist in all three
states – Maryland, Rhode Island and New York – where lawmakers
are considering legalizing such unions.
Utah scored the lowest out of the 50
states, with only 22 percent in favor of gay marriage. However,
that's an increase of 10% over 16 years.
The report also shows a near universal
majority of people (89%) believe gay and lesbian Americans should
have equal rights in terms of job opportunities.