Poll: Most Republicans now support same-sex marriage — overall approval reaches 70%

By Muri Assunção

New York Daily News

More than half of Republicans now say that same-sex marriages should be recognized as legal, with the same rights as opposite-sex marriages, according to a new poll released Wednesday by Gallup.

In its latest annual Values and Beliefs poll, conducted May 3-18, Gallup also found that overall, support of legalized same-sex unions continues to increase, reaching an all-time high of 70%.

The figure represents a dramatic evolution of people’s support for gay marriages, in a trend that has pointed upward for the last 25 years.

In 1996, the first year when the organization asked respondents if they supported legal recognition of marriages between same-sex partners, only 27% said yes.

Nearly two decades later, when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the fundamental right to marry is guaranteed to same-sex couples in June 26, 2015, support for gay marriage reached 60%.

“Since then, the issue has been less prominent in U.S. politics, and public support for same-sex marriage has continued to increase,” Gallup wrote.

This year’s data also shows that more than half (55%) of Republicans are now in favor of the legal recognition of gay marriage — a for the first time.

Support among independents, currently at 73%, is slightly higher than previous years, when it stayed in a 68% to 71% range from 2017 to 2020.

Support among Democrats, historically the biggest supporters of same-sex unions, might have “reached a ceiling for this group, at least for now,” according to Gallup. Its current 83% approval rate is on par with figures from previous years.

The poll also showed growth in approval of same-sex marriages among all age groups, with 84% of young adults, 72% of middle-aged adults, and 60% of older adults saying they should be legally recognized as valid.

The percentage among older adults, which Gallup defines as those age 55 and older, more than doubled in the last 16 years. In 2004, only 20% of those in that age group showed support for gay marriages.

“Once opponents of legalization, Republicans have mostly come to back it,” Gallup concluded. “Meanwhile, older U.S. adults, who were once holdouts in support for gay marriage, now come down on the same side of the issue as young adults.”