A Stable Majority: Most Americans Still Oppose Same-Sex Marriage

Apr 01, 2008

In the time since the Massachusetts high court declared the state’s ban on gay marriage unconstitutional in 2003, public opinion on the issue has remained relatively stable. Indeed, majorities of Americans have consistently opposed legalizing same-sex marriage – from 53% opposed in a summer 2003 survey conducted by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life and the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, to 55% opposed in an August 2007 Pew survey. The 2007 poll found 36% of the public in favor of allowing gay and lesbian couples to wed, about the same as in 2003. (See An Overview of the Same-Sex Marriage Debate.)

As with many other social issues, opinions about same-sex marriage are closely linked with partisanship, ideology and religion. For instance, opposition to gay marriage is lowest among self-described liberal Democrats (26%) and highest among conservative Republicans (83%), with other ideological and partisan groups falling in between. Those who identify themselves as independents are roughly divided on the issue, with 49% opposed to same-sex marriage and 41% in favor of it.

Read the complete findings A Stable Majority: Most Americans Still Oppose Same-Sex Marriage on the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life Web site.

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