New US poll shows shift in favor of gay marriage


In this Aug. 29, 2012, file photo, Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, waves to the delegates during the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla. Portman said Thursday, March 14, 2013 that he now supports gay marriage and says his reversal on the issue began when he learned one of his sons is gay. Knowing someone who is gay or just getting older and thinking about the issue are two big reasons the country is viewing same-sex marriage more favorably, according to a national survey. The Pew Research Center poll helps explain why Americans seem to be changing their minds on the issue and follows the recent public embrace of gay marriage by Democrat Hillary Rodham Clinton and Portman. AP FILE PHOTO/J. Scott Applewhite

WASHINGTON — Views on gay marriage in the U.S. are more favorable because of a shift in attitudes among those who know someone who is gay or became more accepting of gays and lesbians as they got older, according to a national survey.

The Pew Research Center poll also finds that a large group of younger adults who tend to be more open to gay rights is driving the numbers upward. The issue has grabbed the national spotlight again with the public embrace of same-sex marriage by Democrat Hillary Rodham Clinton and Republican Sen. Rob Portman, the only Republican in that chamber to openly support what is still a sensitive issue for many conservatives.

“We’ve certainly seen the trend over the last 10 years,” Michael Dimock, director of the center, said Wednesday. “But we’re now really in a position to talk about the combination of generational change and personal change that have sort of brought the country to where it is today.”

Overall, the poll finds 49 percent of Americans favor allowing gays and lesbians to marry legally, and 44 percent are opposed to the idea. That’s more people now favoring gay marriage than opposing it. A decade ago, 58 percent opposed it and a third supported it.

The 49 percent who now support same-sex marriage includes 14 percent who said they have changed their minds.

When asked why, almost one-third say it’s because they know someone who is gay — a family member, friend or acquaintance. A quarter said their personal views have changed as they thought more about the issue or just because they’ve grown older and more accepting.

Just 2 percent overall said their views have shifted against gay marriage.

Another major factor in the long-term shift in the public’s view: the so-called millennial generation of young adults born since 1980. The survey finds 70 percent of millennials favor same-sex marriage.

Gay marriage has long been an issue of partisan political debate, but it has resurfaced as the Supreme Court prepares to take up the issue.

On Monday, Clinton announced her support for gay marriage — lining up with other potential Democratic presidential candidates who favor it.

In an online video released by the gay rights advocacy group Human Rights Campaign, Clinton says gays and lesbians are “full and equal citizens and deserve the rights of citizenship.”

And last week, Portman reversed course and said he now supports gay marriage. He said he had a change of heart after he learned one of his sons is gay.

The Supreme Court will hear arguments next week in a challenge to a provision of the Defense of Marriage Act — the federal law that defines marriage as between one man and one woman. It’s also reviewing California’s Proposition 8 ban on same-sex marriage.

The Pew Research findings are based on a survey of 1,501 adults nationwide conducted Mar. 13-Mar. 17. The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.

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  • tagahuron

    pure leftist baloney poll. either way, you cannot make an immoral issue right by a majority vote. period!

    • Randy Villanueva

      A thousand years ago, consensual sex between unmarried adults was punishable by stoning. Fifty years ago, interracial sex was punishable by lynching. Thirty years ago, masturbation was still considered immoral. Fifty years from now, same-sex marriage will be accepted as a civil right however much you rage.

    • foreignerph

      Your morals might not be other people’s morals. You don’t have any right to stuff your private beliefs through other’s throat. Period.

      Your freedom to sway your arms ends at the tip of other people’s nose, and the opposite is also true of course. If you don’t like gay marriage, then don’t marry a gay man. Isn’t that simple enough?

    • Crazy_horse101010

      is priests committing sodomy on children a immoral issue the church tried to make it right by hiding and protecting them. which poll is that. is priests raping nuns a immoral issue. the vatican fired the nuns and protected the priests. what are gays hurting. childrens lifes have been destroyed and some have killed themselves especially in europe but thats ok because they were priests period

  • Sweet Disguised

    I think it’s already too much for the gay and lesbian people to suffer more through an unjust rule of law. I would also like to include that most of the relevant facts that people read in the bible were edited by the vatican popes in the past. These sorts of issues are not immoral but how people will judge them as disgusting human beings just makes a person more disgusting than them. I say, let them have their freedom as long as they are not committing any crimes.

  • marivon

    This is the beginning of the end of an institution we call a family. A nut is made for a bolt. Gay marriages are trying to circumvent this natural law. Fire can burn you no matter how hard you try to disprove it.

    • Randy Villanueva

      1. How is my gay neighbor’s relationship threatening my family?
      2. Homosexuality is seen in hundreds of species. What was that you’re saying about natural law?

    • Crazy_horse101010

      then its their problem god will decide not man there is to many morality cops in the world now who are also sinners

  • EC

    Science-fiction novelist Robert Heinlein foresaw this trend way back in the 70’s. No matter what religious conservatives are saying, civilization will move on to greater individual freedom and civil liberties.

  • riza888

    No one polled me. Mere wishful thinking excreted as propaganda. Two thirds of the states have outlawed gay marriage and even the voters of California rejected gay marriage.

    • foreignerph

      Will that hold up in a Supreme Court ruling? Just asking since it’s a clear form of discrimination which is against the spirit of the US Constitution. On the other hand, it took a lot of effort (and a wicked Lincoln if you saw the movie) to abolish negro slavery and later the racial discrimination laws. Morals evolve and get fine tuned as civilization progresses. In Abraham’s time, human sacrifices were still considered very moral. I’d suggest we made some advances since then.

      • riza888

        Do you really believe people who believe mothers and fathers both matter to kids are like bigots and racists? Marriage as the union of husband and wife isn’t new; it’s not taking away anyone’s rights. It’s common sense.

        Bans on interracial marriage were about keeping two races apart so that one race could oppress the other. Marriage is about bringing two sexes together, so that children get the love of their own mom and a dad, and women don’t get stuck with the enormous disadvantages of parenting alone. Having a parent of two different races is just not the same as being deprived of your mother—or your father.

  • Randy Villanueva

    The smallest family unit is two people who think of each other as home. The greatest threat to family isn’t same-sex marriage but those who would prevent two people from finding home in each other.

  • kilabot

    the last enemy is perversion.
    the world agenda is to make the abnormal the new normal;
    1) dangerous drugs;
    2) same-sex marriage;
    3) man-beast union;
    4) prostitution;
    5) pedophilia;
    6) abortion;

    the agenda is being pushed around the world;
    some countries have already legalized one or more of the agenda items;
    the push is intensifying; targeting world leaders and people of influence;
    uk, france, netherlands, spain, sweden, southafrica, argentina and canada have fallen;
    obama, clinton and carter have fallen; the whole usa may fall soon;
    noykapon has fallen; so do many ph politicians and academics; ph on the verge of falling;

    everything will be redefined;
    freedom means free condom;
    $sodomy becomes love; bestialisex is affection; a toilet bowl becomes a sex object;
    a junkie is chic; a prostitute is enterprising;
    adopting the agenda is equated to progress, prosperity and advancement;
    the idea is to make the world one big orgy; all people thinking, behaving and acting alike;
    one world order; the reign of the great pervert;
    there will be no more right nor wrong; there is only normal perversion;

    time to choose which side you are on; fence-sitting not recommended.
    do something against perversion. help rehabilitate a pervert;

    No to perversion!

    • Randy Villanueva

      Cool story, bro.

  • i_am_filipino

    If male priests are allowed to marry another male priests, will they get banned from the church or will the church be emptied from followers? US is more of protestant I think.

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