Pew Research Poll: Acceptance grows for same-sex marriage

Wed. March 20, 2013 3:30 PM by News Staff

Washington, DC - A second public opinion survey released this month confirms rising acceptance of same-sex marriage nationwide.

The new survey by the Pew Research Center, conducted March 13-17, 2013 among 1,501 adults nationwide, shows 49% of Americans support same-sex. The poll confirms results of a Washington Post/ABC News survey, conducted March 7-10, which shows 49% in favor.

"We keep hearing this word 'evolving' when people discuss marriage equality, and that is exactly what this poll shows; that the nation has been evolving and moving in the supportive direction," said Anthony Martinez, executive director of The Civil Rights Agenda.

According to the same poll, 70% of those in the 18-32 age bracket support same-sex marriage. The number is still higher than the support among older generations. Ten years ago support among members of the same age bracket was just 51%.

Roughly a third (32%) say they've changed their mind about gay rights because they have a friend or family member who is gay, which is often a message communicated by marriage rights activists.

"The more LGBT folks share their stories and live an open authentic life, the more minds will change. We need to show people that this is not a lifestyle, but just life. This is who we are," said Martinez.

Just last week, one of the Republican Party's rising stars, U.S. Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio, revealed that his son was gay and that he now backed same-sex marriage.

The poll also indicated Americans have also become more accepting of same-sex couples as parents: 64% now agree that "same-sex couples can be as good parents as heterosexual couples," up from 54% in 2003.

Pew Research noted the rise in support for same-sex marriage over the past decade is among the largest changes in opinion on any policy issue over this time period.

The full survey can be found online: Pew Research Poll