The results, released a few days ago by Gallup, show that a record number of Americans support marriage equality. 71% of respondents said they believe same-sex couples should have the right to marry, an increase of 1% from the previous year.
How Public Opinion On Marriage Equality Is Growing
This number reflects a continuing trend of increased support for marriage equality across the United States. In fact, since Gallup began tracking public opinion on this issue, the percentage of Americans who believe same-sex couples should have the same rights to marry as opposite-sex couples has steadily increased.
In 1996, only 27% of Americans supported same-sex marriage. In 2015, just one month before the U.S Supreme Court ruled in favor of same-sex marriage in Obergefell v. Hodges, public support crossed the 60% mark. And last year it reached the 70% mark for the first time.
The changing attitudes towards same-sex relationships are one of the most encouraging social changes of our time. For too long, same-sex couples have been subjected to discrimination and exclusion, and it is heartening to see that this is gradually changing. More and more people are now accepting of same-sex relationships, and this is having a positive impact on the lives of LGBTQ+ people across the country.
It is encouraging to see that what was once considered taboo is now widely accepted. It is especially encouraging to see older adults and Republicans moving on the issue. In 2016, the share of people over 65 who support same-sex marriage crossed the majority. Then it was Protestants’ turn in 2017, followed by Republicans in 2021.
Churchgoers Remain Opposed To Equal Marriage
One group that remains staunchly opposed to marriage equality is weekly churchgoers.
Indeed, the poll has found that religious attendance is a major predictor of views on same-sex marriage. Respondents who reported attending religious services weekly or more were significantly less likely to support same-sex marriages than those who attended less often.
Among those who say they attend church weekly, only 40% favor same-sex marriage, and 58% opposed it. This number is fairly stable since 2016, but it confirms a slight downward trend that began in 2020 when their support for same-sex marriage crossed the 44% mark for the first time.
This resistance is not surprising given that many churches teach that marriage must be between a man and a woman.
But the survey results show that attitudes toward marriage equality continue to evolve despite an already huge level of support. While churchgoers remain opposed, more conservative groups are slowly coming around to the cause, and it is encouraging to see older adults evolve on this issue. With 71% of Americans supporting marriage equality, it is clear that this is no longer a taboo issue but a widely accepted norm. This is good news for those who have been fighting for equal rights, as it shows that progress is being made. However, there is still a long way to go before marriage equality is the law of the land. We must continue to fight for what is right and ensure that everyone has the same opportunities to marry the person they love.