Same-Sex Marriage Moving Toward the Mainstream


One of the few issues on which opinion has moved left over the last few years is same-sex marriage. In 1996, Gallup found that Americans opposed it by a 68 percent to 27 percent margin. Last May, Gallup found Americans in favor by 53 percent to 45 percent. That's a huge change in 15 years.

Other polls have shown similar movement. Pew Research reported last week that 45 percent favored same-sex marriage and 46 percent were opposed -- a dead heat. Pew polls in 2008 and 2009 found only 35 percent to 40 percent in favor.

This is an issue on which the differences between age groups are as large as any I can remember. In the May Gallup poll, 70 percent of those under age 35 favored same-sex marriage. Only 39 percent of those over 55 agreed.

So while opinion on one controversial cultural issue, abortion, has not changed much, opinion on same-sex marriage has changed vastly.

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