October 19, 2010

Support for Gay Marriage Rises Across Generations

42%

Support for same-sex marriage is now nearly equal to opposition, and while generational divides still persist, support is up among all age groups.

For the first time in a Pew Research Center survey, fewer than half of U.S. adults say they oppose same-sex marriage. Currently, 42% of Americans favor gay marriage while 48% are opposed. The increase in support for gay marriage is broad-based, but while the number favoring gay marriage is up among all age groups, generational divides persist. Millennials, adults born after 1980, remain the strongest supporters of same sex marriage; 53% favor gay marriage, the only age group in which a majority is supportive. Among Gen Xers (adults born 1965 to 1980), nearly half now support gay marriage (48%), up from 41% in 2009. Adults born before 1965 are far less supportive of same sex marriage. Just 38% of Baby Boomers (adults born 1946 to 1964) and 29% of members of the Silent Generation (1928 to 1945) support gay marriage. Still, support for gay marriage is up from the past year for both generations, and substantially more members of the Silent Generation now support gay marriage than did so in 2003 (17%). Read More