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Fact Sheet

May 14, 2019

Attitudes on Same-Sex Marriage

    Public opinion on same-sex marriage

    In Pew Research Center polling in 2004, Americans opposed same-sex marriage by a margin of 60% to 31%.

    Support for same-sex marriage has steadily grown over the past 15 years. And today, support for same-sex marriage remains near its highest point since Pew Research Center began polling on this issue. Based on polling in 2019, a majority of Americans (61%) support same-sex marriage, while 31% oppose it.

    Year Favor Oppose
    2001 35% 57%
    2003 32% 59%
    2004 31% 60%
    2005 36% 53%
    2006 35% 55%
    2007 37% 54%
    2008 39% 51%
    2009 37% 54%
    2010 42% 48%
    2011 46% 44%
    2012 48% 43%
    2013 50% 43%
    2014 52% 40%
    2015 55% 39%
    2016 55% 37%
    2017 62% 32%
    2019 61% 31%

    Pew Research Center


    Attitudes on same-sex marriage by political party identification

    Three-quarters of Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents (75%) and fewer than half of Republicans and Republican leaners (44%) favor same-sex marriage.

    More independents who lean toward the Democratic Party (81%) favor gay marriage than Democrats (71%). Similarly, Republican leaners are more supportive (56%) than Republicans (37%).

    Support for same-sex marriage now stands at 88% among self-described liberal Democrats and Democratic leaners and 64% among conservative and moderate Democrats. Fewer conservative Republicans and Republican leaners (36%) support same-sex marriage than moderate and liberal Republicans (59%).

    Year Rep/Lean Rep Dem/Lean Dem
    2001 23% 45%
     2003 24% 44%
    2004 19% 43%
    2005 20% 49%
    2006 20% 47%
    2007 20% 49%
    2008 23% 51%
    2009 21% 51%
    2010 27% 55%
    2011 35% 57%
    2012 30% 63%
    2013 33% 62%
    2014 37% 67%
    2015 38% 69%
    2016 38% 70%
    2017 47% 76%
    2019 44% 75%

    Pew Research Center

    Year Republican Lean Rep Lean Dem Democrat
    2001 21% 29% 53% 43%
     2003 22% 29% 48% 43%
    2004 17% 23% 47% 40%
    2005 19% 24% 60% 45%
    2006 17% 27% 55% 43%
    2007 18% 25% 52% 48%
    2008 19% 31% 55% 50%
    2009 19% 25% 54% 50%
    2010 24% 32% 59% 53%
    2011 27% 45% 59% 56%
    2012 25% 38% 66% 62%
    2013 29% 40% 69% 59%
    2014 30% 47% 72% 64%
    2015 32% 48% 74% 66%
    2016 33% 46% 70% 70%
    2017 40% 57% 82% 73%
    2019 37% 56% 81% 71%

    Pew Research Center

    Year Cons Rep/Ln Rep Mod-Lib Rep/Ln Rep Cons-Mod Dem/Ln Dem Lib Dem/Ln Dem
    2001 15% 37% 39% 59%
     2003 16% 38% 38% 63%
    2004 12% 28% 33% 66%
    2005 10% 36% 36% 73%
    2006 11% 33% 37% 69%
    2007 12% 35% 41% 71%
    2008 15% 37% 42% 74%
    2009 14% 36% 43% 70%
    2010 17% 44% 46% 72%
    2011 24% 49% 50% 72%
    2012 20% 48% 55% 79%
    2013 24% 49% 53% 79%
    2014 25% 56% 58% 82%
    2015 25% 60% 59% 84%
    2016 25% 60% 61% 84%
    2017 39% 63% 66% 90%
    2019 36% 59% 64% 88%

    Pew Research Center

    Attitudes on same-sex marriage by religious affiliation

    Among people who are religiously unaffiliated, a solid majority have supported same-sex marriage since 2004. Today, 79% of religious “nones” say same-sex couples should be allowed to marry.

    About two-thirds of white mainline Protestants (66%) now support same-sex marriage, as do a similar share of Catholics (61%).

    Support for same-sex marriage among white evangelical Protestants remains lower than it is among other religious groups. However, the share of white evangelical Protestants who support same-sex marriage has grown from 11% in 2004 to 29% today.

    About four-in-ten of those who attend religious services at least once a week (39%) favor same-sex marriage, compared with 66% who attend once or twice a month or a few times a year, and three-quarters who say they seldom or never attend.

    Year White evangelical Protestants White mainline Protestants Black Protestants Catholics Unaffiliated
    2001 13% 38% 30% 40% 61%
     2003 12% 35% 25% 38% 59%
    2004 11% 34% 19% 36% 61%
    2005 14% 39% 25% 39% 60%
    2006 12% 41% 21% 39% 63%
    2007 14% 43% 24% 40% 60%
    2008 16% 44% 24% 43% 62%
    2009 15% 36% 28% 42% 63%
    2010 20% 48% 29% 46% 62%
    2011 16% 54% 31% 53% 69%
    2012 19% 52% 35% 54% 73%
    2013 23% 55% 32% 54% 74%
    2014 21% 60% 41% 57% 77%
    2015 24% 62% 34% 57% 82%
    2016 27% 64% 39% 58% 80%
    2017 35% 68% 44% 67% 85%
    2019 29% 66% NA% 61% 79%

    Pew Research Center

    Year Attend weekly or more Monthly/yearly Seldom/never
    2001
     2003 17% 40% 47%
    2004 16% 37% 47%
    2005 19% 41% 57%
    2006 19% 41% 53%
    2007 21% 43% 51%
    2008 23% 44% 55%
    2009 21% 43% 52%
    2010 24% 49% 59%
    2011 28% 52% 64%
    2012 28% 55% 65%
    2013 30% 55% 68%
    2014 31% 60% 70%
    2015 32% 60% 76%
    2016 32% 62% 75%
    2017 39% 68% 81%
    2019 39% 66% 75%

    Pew Research Center

    Attitudes on same-sex marriage among key demographic groups

    Support for same-sex marriage has remained largely stable among both men and women since 2017. Today, 66% of women and 57% of men support same-sex marriage.

    Support for same-sex marriage also has remained steady among whites, blacks and Hispanics over the past two years. Today, 62% of whites support same-sex marriage, as do 58% of Hispanics and 51% of blacks.

    The increase in the share of adults who favor same-sex marriage over the past 15 years is due in part to generational change. Younger generations express higher levels of support for same-sex marriage.

    Year White Black Hispanic
    2001 34% 32%
     2003 32% 28%
    2004 31% 21%
    2005 37% 27%
    2006 35% 25% 42%
    2007 38% 26% 38%
    2008 41% 26% 39%
    2009 37% 29% 41%
    2010 44% 30% 41%
    2011 49% 36% 42%
    2012 49% 40% 50%
    2013 50% 38% 54%
    2014 53% 42% 56%
    2015 58% 39% 55%
    2016 57% 42% 56%
    2017 64% 51% 60%
    2019 62% 51% 58%

    Pew Research Center

    Year Silent Generation (1928-45) Baby Boomers (1946-64) Generation X (1965-80) Millennials (1981 to 1996)
    2001 21% 32% 49%
     2003 17% 33% 40% 51%
    2004 18% 30% 40% 44%
    2005 23% 36% 44% 49%
    2006 20% 34% 42% 51%
    2007 24% 34% 42% 53%
    2008 24% 36% 44% 54%
    2009 23% 32% 41% 51%
    2010 29% 38% 48% 53%
    2011 32% 40% 48% 61%
    2012 33% 41% 51% 64%
    2013 35% 41% 52% 66%
    2014 35% 46% 53% 67%
    2015 39% 45% 59% 70%
    2016 38% 46% 56% 71%
    2017 41% 56% 65% 74%
    2019 45% 51% 58% 74%

    Pew Research Center

    Year Men Women
    2001 32% 38%
     2003 28% 36%
    2004 28% 34%
    2005 34% 39%
    2006 31% 39%
    2007 32% 41%
    2008 34% 43%
    2009 32% 41%
    2010 38% 46%
    2011 41% 51%
    2012 44% 52%
    2013 46% 53%
    2014 49% 55%
    2015 53% 58%
    2016 52% 58%
    2017 60% 64%
    2019 57% 66%

    Pew Research Center