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A first: Majority of Americans now supports same-sex marriage, Gallup finds

Same Sex Marriage a California couple Jade and Amber Fox wait for marriage license in Beverly Hills 2010

Thanks to a radical shift in thinking among independents and Democrats during the past year, for the first time in Gallup Poll tracking a clear majority of Americans now approves of gay marriage.

A new Gallup Poll released this morning finds that this month 53% of Americans say same-sex marriage should be recognized in law as equally valid with traditional male-female marriages.

The spurt in support of 9% in the past 12 months was the largest registered since Gallup first tracked the topic in 1996. Back then, only 27% supported same-sex marriage and two-thirds opposed.

Support for same-sex marriages had hovered in the low 40's since about 2004, until the latest figures, showing 59% of independents and 69% of Democrats now support the idea, while 28% of Republicans do. The GOP figure was unchanged from 2010.

The new statistics also show a predictable generational cleavage, with support for gay marriage highest among the youngest (70% among those 18 to 34), declining to 53% among those 35 to 54 years old and weakest among those over 55 (39%) -- although even that segment's support increased six points in the past 12 months. 

Support for gay marriage is higher among Catholics than Protestants, among the unmarried and among those who attend church less frequently.

Gallup was unable to determine what role, if any, last year's repeal of the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy had on the substantial shift in marriage opinion. A majority of Americans (now two-thirds) has supported that change since 2005.

-- Andrew Malcolm

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Photo: Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times (Jade and Amber Fox wait to apply for a marriage license in Beverly Hills, 2010).

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Civil Unions can be structured to give the same rights as the term Marriage (which term comes out of the Bible). This has nothing to do with Civil Rights, but everything to do with trying to redefine ones religious beliefs.

CNN and ABC/Washington Post polls have found the same thing: the majority of Americans now support gay marriage:

No, we don't. Same-sex marriage or heterosexual marriage - both should not be administered or monitored by any government body.

The simple fact of the matter is this: in EVERY single state where same-sex marriage came up for a popular vote via a ballot initiative/resolution, it has LOST. Even in the socially progressive enlightened states, like California, it has lost every popular vote.
It only exists in a few states (just 5 in total) mostly due to via judicial fiat. Where the subject of same-sex marriage came to a popular vote- 31 states in all, it has been voted down every time. That is some judges ordered it. As of March 2011, 41 states prohibit same-sex marriage via statute or the state's constitution.
If you are for gay marriage, then convince your fellow citizens and stop trying to have some judge in a black robe order it on the public.

Where was this survey or poll taken -- San Francisco? Greenwich Village?

Step by step, after Jewish and Africian Americans, the last persecuted minority are on their way to full civil rights in the United States of America. The privilege of standing tall and declaring their love and commitment to each other with Gay and Lesbians with their families, friends and neighbors and at work and in the Military--their time is ripe. As the great Mahatma Gandhi of India once said "first they laugh at you, then they hurt you--and then we WIN!" This newest Gallop Poll clearly shows that we are winning, and we shall attain of full Civil Rights as guaranteed under law and our Constitution. "All men are created Equal."

I think it's a form of emotional ill-health to want to legally disallow a civil union between two civilized people, whether same-sex, different-race, etc. It's good for the country that a majority of people now support freedom in this regard.

The decline of our culture continues. This is not for the better, but just for those who want to feel better.

Stop telling us what we think and believe. Let's take a vote on it, California style. THEN tell us what we think.

Well, of course republicans and evangelicals keep pointing out that so far every vote on this issue has turned against marriage proponents. What they don't admit is that most voters are middle age and older Americans, and religious voters that are stirred into a frenzy by their preachers (which is illegal by the way in accordance with nonprofit rules) which are the one demographic that tends to oppose this more than any other. When younger people, independents, non-religious and other sane citizens actually start to vote (if they ever do), then things will change for the better in this country. Personally, I get pissed when I see anyone that has not voted. We should be seeing 100% of people at the polls.

Ater reading the article it seems likely that cbk16, Joahnne Gutenberg, and Ed are all over 55, Christian, and out of touch with the rest of the nation. The best thing is that soon God will take them away from all of this sin and the rest of us will be left in peace!!!

What ever happened to the idea that we should do unto others as we would have them do unto us? Was that a passing fad with Christians?

I love the skepticism. Whatever happened to "The people have spoken" or "Most Americans identify themselves as Christian, therefore this is a Christian country"?

Just the same, the rightness of marriage equality should not depend on majority belief. Civil rights is not a popularity contest.

This not about freedom but bunch of sick people who want to make a statement. The gay and lesbian people have psychological problems, they need help. I do not know why they want marriage when they do not stay with one partner. They have multiple partners and create all kinds of problems. We cannot allow this practice. They need help.

@cbk: "term comes out of the Bible" source?

"Civil Unions can be structured to give the same rights as the term Marriage"

But they haven't been structured that way, have they. You either support equal rights under law or you don't. You either support justice or you don't.

cbk...your comments about religious beliefs make no senses whatsoever and this is one of the huge lies perpetuated by the radical right wing. Equal marriage rights for gay and lesbian Americans has nothing to do with or no impact on your individual religious beliefs. If this issue is really about religion, then why does any state allow any couples to marry who are not married in a religious ceremony? How about all the Americans who get married that do not believe in God or practice any religion at all?? Again, your religious comments make no sense.

God's Law is the "Law" Marriage is and will always be "Man and woman". Majority of Americans are learning to tolerate same sex marraiges" (re-print)

Dr. Peter, surely you can't be that ignorant. To say that there are no persecuted minorities except a group that you belong to shows how thoughtless and narcissistic you are. I assume you are homosexual, because you switched to using the term "we" in the end of your post. If you are not then I retract the narcissistic part, but I would still consider you ignorant and thoughtless.

Really, cbk16? So we should have hundreds of wives as King Solomon did? That was marriage, rightnout of the Bible.

Gallup polls are widely considered to be completely impartial and well respected. They poll across the nation.


That being said, Joahnne Gutenberg might be interested to know that women's rights issues required supreme court intervention, as did interracial marriage issues, and even the issue of life term prison inmates marrying while serving their sentences. That's why we have three branches of government.

I wonder sometimes if the Prop 8 Folks who were so concerned about Kids
learning about Gay Marriage really believe Kids this week haven't heard about Arnold's behavior? Its on every TV, website and newspaper.
What kind of message about marriage is that teaching them?

I have one question. When did a deivent behavior become accectable?

By the time anti-miscegenation laws were ruled unconstitutional public had opinion was favorable to interracial marriages. Looks like history will repeat itself.

Well, I suppose if you keep asking for the same thing, over and over despite the majority saying "no", voters just get tired of the hassle and give in! That is why the supermarkets keep the gum and candy near the check out line... kids (or in this case the homosexual lobby) keep asking for the same thing, over and over, and they finally get their way. Too bad voters don't have any backbone.

Haaahahahahaaaa, all the homosexual friendly polling organizations have the homosexuals now firmly in control of the issue! If you believe that I've got an Obama bumper sticker I'll sell you.

Same sex couples should have the same rights, under the same name, as opposite sex couples. It's a great day for America now that the majority finally supports this idea of equality.

This article is a dang lie! What is the total of people in 31 states? That is how many states have voted to have ONLY MARRIAGE BETWEEN MALE AND FEMALE!
So the homosexual acts (there is no such person as A homosexual) of these people is supposed to give them acceptance as those who have an immutable (born with) trait!
6,000 years of God's male and female creation cannot be overturned by those who practice sodomy, and want to take down the morals of our society!
One simple question-from where does one get a "sexual orientation"?

Civil unions represent "separate, but equal" and remain a last ditch effort by the right-wing idealogues to prevent gay marriage. Gay marriage has come to many European nations, South Africa, and Canada. The funny thing is that the world has ended in any of these places or there have been any negative results from allowing gays to marry.

Iran and several Islamic countries sentence gays to death in a modern-day Holocaust. Do you stand with Osama Bin Laden or with freedom?

"And a majority of Jews supported Barabbas" Christ died almost alone.

"and a majority of Italians supported Mussolini and Hitler"

" And a majority of Americans supported slavery at one time"

"And a majority of Americans were against abortion when Row v wade was created from mysterious emanations from penumbras"

And a majority of Americans don't trust the press"

And a majority of American believe politicians lie "

How silly to equate mere math to determine the morality of an issue? Shame on a majority of Americans. As if might makes right.

Joahnne, read the chart. The point is that opinions are changing, and changing rapidly. Just because a bunch of constitutional amendments got rammed through before this tipping point, well, tipped doesn't mean that people aren't shifting their opinions towards full acceptance of gay and lesbian people in society.

Your side won a lot of same-sex marriage battles through scare tactics, fear and bigotry - congratulations. Now it's our turn to win a few.

The government is now 100% secular without an identity. This will become law, then polygamy and finally pedophilia/beastiality etc... etc... It's evils perverse course. Then finally it will be made law, feed the Christians to the lions.

As soon as this passes, and it will. Watch the pesecution of the Catholic Church begin.

It certainly appears that the educational system's continued pattern of indoctrination has finally come to fruition - not only in this arena but in others as well. Pity, but what was once perhaps our greatest asset - our educatinal system - has become our greatest liability.

"For or against" is an oversimplification of the issue. I support government (especially the federal) extending the benefits of marriage to same-sex couples (hospital visitation, taxation, inheritance, social security benefits, etc.), but I also don't think that those who disagree should be coerced to come on board. So schools, churches, adoption agencies, etc., who don't approve of same sex marriage should be free to act upon their beliefs without coercion. I have my views concerning what is right and wrong, but I don't intend to make everyone conform to those views.

Who's got next? We must recognize the plight of the polyamorists and the polygamists. When will America grant equal rights to these poor people and let them express their love publically and openly, and leave behind its sad legacy of monogonormative bigotry and intolerance? And what about marriages to animals? When will those who enjoy loving, committed, sexual relationships with the other-specied finally receive the recognition and respect that other Amreicans take for granted? Personally, I'm tired of all the anthroponormative bigotry that forces zoophilic americans to remain in the closet. We have such a long, long way to go here in America, and its so sad that so many are still unfairly treated as second class citizens. And of course, the day may never come when the necrophilic can truly express their love for the formerly-live. Life-0-normative sexual bigotry is, alas, also deeply ingrained in the American psyche.

Why don't those threatened by the idea of same-sex marriage start looking at their own relationships instead of passing judgement on others? It's adultery and divorce that have the greater impact on family values and marriage, by far! it is just so much easier to point fingers at someone/something else, instead. And the even greater irony? This kind of prejudice is the antithesis of Jesus's teachings.... Such hypocrisy!

I don't know what majority you are talking about. There is no way that half of the people in this nation support such a disgusting abomination as that. Maybe 50% of the lunatic left supports it but you must look at the source even then. Get real!

The Times does not tell the whole truth (as usual)

The Gallup survey of 1,018 adults was taken May 5-8 and has a margin of error of +/- 4 percentage points.(USA Today)

A thousand people? That's the "majority" of Americans...any poll can be skewed by anyone and anyplace....the Times has an agenda and so they leave out relative information..

I am sorry, but 1,000 people hardly represent the "majority" of any population of over 300,000,000 people.

would somebody cite the passage where the bible says one man one woman can only be married?


think so? Put it up for a vote in a referendum. Let the people vote.

Bring. It. On.

We'll vote it down, every time.

"Jack Klemperer," no private organization can be coerced into recognizing a civil marriage; in fact, it's common for churches refuse to have ceremonies for mixed-faith or cohabiting couples, even though these couples have a marriage license.
However, any tax-payer funded organization MAY NOT discriminate between couples who are legally married because they accept money from the federal government and thus must play by the fed's rules. For example, Christian adoption agencies aren't allowed to refuse service to muslim parents, despite their religious opposition to Islam, and public schools in the Bible Belt can't turn away a teacher because he or she is Jewish.
If you don't like same-sex marriage, don't expect to take money from gay taxpayers and then use THEIR money to discriminate against them.

we have experience with equal marriage rights in several states (six years in massachusetts) and in a number of countries around the world. unless i've missed it, there has been no outbreak of polygamy (which is biblically sanctioned, btw), paedophilia, or (good grief) bestiality. these hysterical predictions are made by people who attempt to divert attention away from their bigotry and who betray their ignorance of who gay people are. they are your brothers, sisters, mothers, cousins, fathers, uncles, grandparents, your doctor, your mailman, teachers, garbage collectors, preachers, mechanics, actors, can anyone say that all these people should not be treated equally under the law? loving gay couples deserve the right to name each other as their legal spouses to insure hospital visitation, medical decisions, inheritance, debt, parental rights...and the list goes on to cover some 1000 legal rights and responsibilities. it's sad that it has taken so long for a majority of the public to come to the realization that insuring marriage equality is the right and decent thing to do...but we're getting there.

This one really fires up the crazy right wingers! I love it.

Government has no role in marriage whatsoever.


The small, subculture who publishes this propaganda does all it can to silence dissenting voices, then they say that the results show that people are accepting homosexuality. Most people, historically, and now, are revolted by the notion of homosexual "marriage". Even the discussion of such filthy proclivities reveals how degraded, debased, and twisted society has become


Liberal garbage and lies - if there is such a support in the country for homosexuals, why do liberals and Dems fear to bring the issue to the voting booth?
After all, that is the ONLY POLL THAT MATTERS - yet they go through any possible legal contortin to keep the affair in the courts and rely on irrelevant polls - yeah, this poll has the validity of of a poll that is branded "Adult", when you want the results of an "LV" poll -

Fortunately, the isssue will go to SCOTUS, which will bounce it to where it belongs - the voters in the states, the only authority that has the right to decide in this - so, adios, Scotty, the issue will be buried soon -

Bye-bye -

Just shows who the enemies of individual freedom really are: Republicans. Who should go on a no-fly list, a no-train-boarding list, and a terrorist watch. Which of their fellow Americans will they attack next?!

The Democrats, their elected partners in crime, merely deserve a special nook in hell for facilitating the Republican agenda wherever it does, which is everywhere and often.

The pollsters love to spin the "new, enlightened attitude" of Americans/Californians regarding gay marriage & now refer to it almost exclusively as "same-sex marriage" since surveys have also shown that term to be more "socially acceptable" than gay marriage.

But no matter how they spin the questions, manipulate the samples or frame the issue the fact remains that gay marriage has NEVER passed in a popular vote in any state of the union. It relies totally on legislative or judicial fiat in those rare states where it has become law.

I seem to remember MANY polls before Proposition 8 passed by a clear 52.5-47.5% margin in 2008 that insisted Californians were "clearly against" Prop 8 and yet those who buy into the oft-manipulated polls walk away baffled after EVERY election.

The emotion-driven gay rights movement will no doubt also be baffled when Judge Vaughn Walker's BLATANTLY biased ruling in favor of gay marriage is overturned by a higher court. Anyone who has read that ruling without prejudice can easily see through the shallow legal arguments Walker used to prop up his clearly biased opinion.

Iowa, there we come!

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About the Columnist
A veteran foreign and national correspondent, Andrew Malcolm has served on the L.A. Times Editorial Board and was a Pulitzer finalist in 2004. He is the author of 10 nonfiction books and father of four. Read more.
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