Monday, December 03, 2012

POLL: US Marriage Equality Support Leads 51-41

Another survey of Americans, this taken after this year's elections in which voters supported the marriage equality side in four ballot measure campaigns in Maine, Maryland, Minnesota and Washington, indicates that nationally, support for marriage equality has solidified into a majority position. In fact, the ten point lead of 51% support for marriage equality compared to 41% opposition is unchanged from a similar CBS News poll taken in September 2012.

There is a generational divide on this issue. Young Americans (those ages 18-29) are some of the strongest proponents of allowing gay and lesbian couples to marry. Seventy-two percent of them support it, as do a majority --albeit a smaller one-- of Americans ages 30-44. However, support for same-sex marriage drops to 44 percent among those who are age 45-64 and even further to just a third of Americans age 65 and over. In fact, 56 percent of seniors oppose permitting same-sex couples to marry. 
The CBS News Poll also finds more women (53 percent) than men (48 percent) think same-sex marriage should be legal. Women voters were instrumental in getting the ballot measures legalizing same-sex marriage passed. According to exit polls conducted in each of the three states, majorities of women approved of the same-sex marriage initiatives, while men opposed them. 
Nationwide, opinions on same-sex marriage also differ by marital status. Married Americans are divided in their views, while 57 percent of unmarried Americans support allowing same-sex couples to marry. 
As might be expected, there are differences by political party. Most Democrats think it should be legal for same-sex marriage couples to marry, while most Republicans do not. Fifty-five percent of independents support marriage for gay and lesbian couples.

The actual questions as whether "Same sex marriage should be legal or not legal." This is a change in methodology for CBS News, in that prior to May 2012 they used to ask the "tri-partite" question which included a civil unions option (and options supporting pro-marriage equality and anti-marriage equality).

The poll was conducted November 16-19, 2012 with 1,100 adults and has a margin of error of 3 percentage points.

Hat/tip to LGBT Think Progress

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