You are hereTruthout: Majority of Americans Now Support Marriage Equality

Truthout: Majority of Americans Now Support Marriage Equality


March 29, 2011- A poll and a comprehensive study released last week reveal that for the first time, a majority of Americans support marriage equality and other benefits for same-sex couples.

The poll, conducted for ABC News and The Washington Post, indicates that 53 percent of Americans support marriage equality for same-sex couples, a 21 percent increase from 2004.

The biggest increases are among Christians, who saw gains among white and Hispanic Catholic Americans and white nonevangelical Protestants. While support from evangelical Protestants increased, especially among younger members, they still overwhelmingly oppose marriage equality and other benefits for same-sex couples.

"This is very consistent with a lot of other polling data we've seen and the general momentum we've seen over the past year and a half," Evan Wolfson of Freedom to Marry, a leading pro-gay-marriage group, said to The Washington Post of the poll.

The poll came on the heels of a study released by the Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI) that indicates, like the poll, that a majority of Catholic Americans support marriage equality and allowing same-sex couples to adopt children, as well as the ability of lesbian and gay military service members to serve openly. (Neither the PPRI study nor the ABC-WaPo poll used "bisexual" or "transgender" in their language.)

"The [study] makes clear what we have long known," said Francis DeBernardo, executive director of New Ways Ministry in a statement. "Catholics driven by a desire for justice are at the forefront of efforts to make our country's marriage laws more equitable, and to extend the legal benefits of civil marriage to same-gender couples and their children."

When the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) was signed in 1996, a majority of Americans opposed marriage equality for same-sex couples. Now, with the change in numbers, experts say that not only do more individuals understand the legal struggles that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) individuals face, but also, more people now separate religious teachings from societal norms.

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