Saturday, May 21, 2011

Poll: Majority back gay marriage

May 20, 2011

A majority of Americans say they support legalizing gay marriage for the first time ever in a Gallup poll, according to a new survey released Friday.

Gallup is the third national poll in the last two months to show that more Americans now support the policy than oppose it.

In the poll, conducted earlier this month, Gallup found 53 percent of Americans saying that marriages between same-sex couples should be considered valid and come with the same rights as heterosexual marriages, while 45 percent said same-sex marriages should not.

A year ago, in the last Gallup survey on the issue, the numbers were reversed: 53 percent of Americans opposed same-sex marriage, while 44 percent supported it.

The Gallup poll is just the latest to find that the legalization of gay marriage is supported by a majority of Americans. In a shift from its previous polls, a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey released in April found 51 percent of Americans in support of gay marriage and 47 percent opposed to it. And, in March, a Washington Post/ABC News poll found 52 percent of Americans supporting gay marriage, also a majority opinion for the first time.

But the shift has not crossed the partisan divide. In the Gallup poll, the percentage of Republicans supporting legalized gay marriage has not changed in the last year – just like in 2010, 28 percent of Republicans are in favor of it in 2011.