WASHINGTON, D.C. ( May 14, 2019 ) — After years of generally steady increases, opinions about same-sex marriage are mostly unchanged since 2017. Today, a majority of Americans ( 61% ) favor allowing gays and lesbians to marry legally, while about half as many ( 31% ) oppose same-sex marriage, according to a new national survey by Pew Research Center.
While attitudes about same-sex marriage are changed little from two years ago, support has increased substantially over the past two decades. In 2004, opinion was almost the reverse of what it is today: 60% opposed same-sex marriage, while just 31% were in favor.
The survey finds that Republicans and Democrats remain deeply divided over legal marriage for gays and lesbians — though support has increased significantly in both parties over the past 15 years.
Today, three-quarters of Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents favor same-sex marriage, up from 43% 15 years ago. By contrast, fewer than half of Republicans and Republican leaners support same-sex marriage; in 2004, just 19% of Republicans supported it.
Support for same-sex marriage also has increased among nearly all demographic groups over the past 15 years, including across generations and by religious affiliation:
* Support for same-sex marriage is highest among Millennials ( 74% ) — as has generally been the case for nearly a decade. A majority of Gen Xers ( 58% ) support allowing gays and lesbians to marry legally, as do about half of Boomers ( 51% ) and 45% of the Silent Generation.
* Among religious groups, majorities of Catholics ( 61% ), white mainline Protestants ( 66% ) and the religiously unaffiliated ( 79% ) say they support same-sex marriage. By contrast, just 29% of white evangelical Protestants favor same-sex marriage, while about twice as many ( 63% ) are opposed.
Explore partisan trends on views of same-sex marriage in the report and visit the full fact sheet for trends by generation, race, religion and more.
The survey was conducted March 20-25 among 1,503 adults. The margin of sampling error is plus or minus 3.0 percentage points for results based on the full sample.
Read the report: https://www.people-press.org/2019/05/14/majority-of-public-favors-same-sex-marriage-but-divisions-persist/.
ALSO SEE: www.pewforum.org/fact-sheet/changing-attitudes-on-gay-marriage/ .
—From a Pew Research Center press release
Pew Research Center is a nonpartisan fact tank that informs the public about the issues, attitudes and trends shaping the world. It does not take policy positions. The Center is a subsidiary of The Pew Charitable Trusts, its primary funder. Subscribe to our daily and weekly email newsletters or follow us on our Fact Tank blog.