In each of the past three annual polls, Gallup has recorded three-percentage point increases among Americans who say same-sex marriages should be legally valid.
These data are from Gallup's annual Values and Beliefs poll, conducted May Some of the increases in support may be due to greater numbers of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender LGBT adults getting married in the U. Using data for all of , Gallup has found that more than This means that Americans are more likely to know someone who has married a same-sex partner, and the visibility of these marriages may be playing a role in overturning some folks' previously held opposition to their legal status.
Gay marriage became legal nationwide in upon the Supreme Court's Obergefell decision. This came more than a decade after the first state, Massachusetts, had legalized gay marriage. In the years leading up to the decision, a patchwork of state laws were created for and against same-sex marriage. The GOP has seen growth in the percentage of Republicans who favor legally recognized gay marriage over the years, but has yet to reach majority support.
Meanwhile, independents' opinions on the issue are closer to those of Democrats. Bottom Line With the third anniversary of the Supreme Court's decision nearing and no formidable opposition trying to undo gay marriage's legality, it's likely that the percentage of married LGBT adults in the U. The trend toward increased public support for same-sex marriage could very well continue, given that there is still room for increased support among Democrats and independents.
Reaching a national consensus on the issue would depend more on greater acceptance among Republicans, who remain mostly opposed to legally recognized same-sex marriages. In addition to the general trend toward greater acceptance of gay marriage, the same-sex weddings taking place across the country may be softening opposition among some Americans who once feared for what legalization would bring. But now that it's been legal for nearly three years -- and even longer in certain states -- some opponents to gay marriage may be rethinking their previous opposition.
Americans have changed their minds on the legality of other issues as well. Gallup's trend on support for legalization of marijuana has largely mirrored its trend on legalization of gay marriage. On both issues, support gained steadily in the s before reaching majority level in the s. Survey Methods Results for this Gallup poll are based on telephone interviews conducted May , , with a random sample of 1, adults, aged 18 and older, living in all 50 U.
All reported margins of sampling error include computed design effects for weighting. Landline and cellular telephone numbers are selected using random-digit-dial methods. Learn more about how the Gallup Poll Social Series works.