A Gallup poll released Friday shows a
narrow majority of Americans support giving gay and lesbian couples
the right to marry.
Fifty-three percent of respondents said
they support the legalization of gay marriage, while forty-five
percent disagree, and two percent don't know.
Friday's poll was the polling group's
first in 15 years to find opponents of the institution in the
Gallup's survey finds a 9-point
increase in support for gay marriage in its polling since last year.
“This most recent poll reaffirms that
Americans have been listening and, in Lincoln's words, 'thinking
anew' or, as President Obama would put it 'evolving.',” Evan
Wolfson, president of Freedom to Marry, said in a statement. “As
they've heard the stories of loving and committed couples harmed by
the denial of marriage and the safety-net it brings, their hearts
have opened and minds have changed.”
While the poll found large increases in
support among Democrats (13%) and independents (10%), Republican
support for the institution remained unchanged at 28 percent from
Younger Americans (18 to 34) also
support gay marriage in greater numbers, 70 percent, while support
dropped to 39% among those 55 and older.
“While big majorities of Democrats
and young people support the idea of legalizing same-sex marriage,
fewer than 4 in 10 Republicans and older Americans agree,” Gallup
said in releasing its findings. “Republicans in particular
seem fixed in their opinions; there was no change at all in their
support level this year, while independents' and Democrats' support
jumped by double-digit margins.”
The findings are in line with several
recent nationwide polls, including those from cabler CNN, ABC News
and The Washington Post, and The Associated Press, which
found majority support for marriage equality.