Changing Attitudes on Gay Marriage
In Pew Research polling in 2001, Americans opposed same-sex marriage by a 57% to 35% margin.
Since then, support for same-sex marriage has steadily grown. Based on polling in 2015, a majority of Americans (55%) support same-sex marriage, compared with 39% who oppose it. See the latest data on same-sex marriage.
Attitudes by Generation
This is due in part to generational change. Younger generations express higher levels of support for same-sex marriage.
However, older generations also have become more supportive of same-sex marriage in recent years.
Attitudes by Religious Affiliation
Among people who are religiously unaffiliated, a solid majority have supported same-sex marriage since 2001.
And among Catholics and white mainline Protestants, roughly six-in-ten now express support for same-sex marriage.
Support for same-sex marriage among black Protestants and white evangelical Protestants remains lower than among other religious groups.
Attitudes by Political Party
Majorities of both Democrats (66%) and independents (61%) now favor same-sex marriage.
A smaller share of Republicans fave same-sex marriage (32%), though they also have become more supportive over the past decade.
Attitudes by Political Ideology
Support for same-sex marriage now stands at 79% among self-described liberals and 64% among moderates.
Far fewer conservatives (30%) support same-sex marriage.
Attitudes by Race
In 2001, roughly one-third of both whites and blacks expressed support for same-sex marriage. Today, 58% of whites support same-sex marriage, as do 39% of blacks.
Attitudes by Gender
Support for same-sex marriage has risen among both men and women in recent years. Today, 58% of women and 53% of men support same-sex marriage.