July 26, 2006

Public Opinion Trends on Gay Marriage

A Pew Forum Fact Sheet

The Pew Research Center has tracked public opinion on gay marriage as it has fluctuated over the past several years. Following is an excerpt from a June 2006 survey analysis by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, followed by links to earlier surveys that include analyses of public opinion along religious lines.

June 2006: Support for Gay Marriage Declines; Opponents Place Higher Priority on the Issue
View the survey report, including links to topline & methodology (June 27, 2006)

When it comes to gay marriage, people on different sides of the issue place different priority on it. Those opposing gay marriage assigned it greater importance, with nearly half (45%) calling it a very important issue. Supporters of gay marriage place less priority on it, with just 27% saying it is very important.

Overall support for allowing gays and lesbians to marry legally has declined significantly since March. In the current poll, 33% favor gay marriage and 55% are opposed; four months ago, 39% were in favor and 51% opposed. Opponents of gay marriage were also asked if they thought a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage is a good or bad idea; of the total sample, 33% said it was a good idea and 19% said it was a bad idea.

March 2006: Less Opposition to Gay Marriage
View the survey report, including links to topline & methodology (March 22, 2006)

July 2005: Support for Marriage Amendment Tepid Among Evangelicals, Weak Among Other Groups
View the survey report, including links to topline & methodology (August 3, 2005)