New Poll Finds America’s Support For Same-Sex Marriage Hits 56%

Another major poll has found that a majority Americans support equal marriage rights for same-sex couples.

The General Social Survey, a comprehensive and widely respected survey that has measured trends on a huge array of American attitudes for more than four decades, has found that support for a right of same-sex couples to marry has risen 8 percentage points in the past two years. This is a jump of 45 points since the question was first asked in 1988, when only 11 percent of Americans said they agreed with the idea.

The AP adds:

The largest shift in support since 2012 has come among Republicans, just under half of whom — 45 percent — now support marriage rights for same-sex couples. That’s a jump of 14 percentage points since 2012.

“Many things don’t change a lot. Most things change very slowly,” said Tom W. Smith, director of the General Social Survey. “This is one of the most impressive changes we’ve measured.”

As support for same-sex marriage has risen, the survey found, so has acceptance for gays and lesbians and for their relationships. Although 4 in 10 Americans still say sexual relationships between members of the same sex are always wrong, that’s half as many as said so in 1987. And while in 1976 only about half of Americans — 53 percent — said a gay person should be allowed to teach at a college or university, 88 percent now say that is all right.

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Two-thirds of Democrats support same-sex marriage, and Republicans show a sharp increase in support in 2014.

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The trend in the General Social Survey data for the last ten years also closely matches similar results from polls conducted by Gallup, CBS News and the Pew Research Center.

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