March 10, 2014

61% of young Republicans favor same-sex marriage

Young Republicans support gay marriage 2014Young people continue to be the strongest proponents of same-sex marriage. And as public support for same-sex marriage continues to grow, the gap between young and old is nowhere more striking than within the Republican coalition.

Today, 61% of Republicans and Republican leaners under 30 favor same-sex marriage while just 35% oppose it. By contrast, just 27% of Republicans ages 50 and older favor allowing gays and lesbians to marry.

This generation gap among Republicans comes against a backdrop of rapidly changing public opinion overall on the issue. More than half the public (54%) now favors allowing gays and lesbians to legally marry, a record high in Pew Research surveys, in keeping with findings from other recent polls. Democrats and Republicans remain on opposite sides of the issue, with 69% of Democrats and Democratic leaning independents favoring same-sex marriage compared with 39% Republicans and Republican leaners. 

Young Republicans' views on gay familiesOn this issue, young Republicans’ views are more in line with Democrats. And while support for gay marriage is higher among younger Democrats and Democratic leaners than older Democrats, even Democrats 65 and older favor same-sex marriage by a margin of about two-to-one.

The relative liberalism of young Republicans on issues of homosexuality goes beyond their support for gay marriage. Just 18% of Republicans under 30 say “more gay and lesbian couples raising children” is a bad thing for American society, while 26% say it is a good thing (56% either say it doesn’t make a difference or they don’t know). By comparison, majorities or pluralities of older Republicans say this trend is a bad thing for society.

Topics: Gay Marriage and Homosexuality, U.S. Political Parties

  1. Photo of Jocelyn Kiley

    is Associate Director of Research at the Pew Research Center.

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  1. Marshal Art1 month ago

    Aside from the extremely small sampling of respondents, polls like this one provide responses based on ignorance of all the details of a given subject. There is so many negatives, as well as distortions and blatant lies regarding the issue of homosexuality that I would wager most of those who support pro-homosexual initiatives would change their votes if they only knew of them. One can see an example of how it should be merely by watching television commercials for any of a number of drugs on the market, and the massive list of negative effects known to be a real possibility should one decide to try the drug. At least in those cases, the person buying the drug is aware of the negatives. Not so much the case with homosexual causes.

    And example would be pedophilia. The common argument is that there are more heterosexual pedophiles. But then, there are many more heterosexuals than homosexuals. However, of those known to be pedophiles, about a third are homosexual. That means, 2% of the population accounts for 30+% of the total population of pedophiles.

    Another example is homosexual parenting. The notion that there is no difference for the child is based on 60 studies that have been shown to be woefully flawed in their methodology, yet they are referred to as proof that there is no difference.

    I could go on and on and find all sorts of easily found data that indicates all is not sunshine and lollipops (a reference to the passing of lesbian Leslie Gore) in the homosexual community. Were this information as widely publicized as it should be on so contentious and issue, I strongly doubt there would be nearly the support for homosexual causes as there appears to be from the results of extremely limited polling samples. And hey…polling results such as these are deceitful themselves, intentionally or not. Anything that seems to help the cause only further taints the results by influencing public opinion.

  2. Mike8 months ago

    The government shouldn’t have anything to do with marriage in the first place, and no real priest would marry homosexuals, since their God forbids it.

    I don’t understand the problem here.

    If you’re a christian, the gays are going to hell anyways and so any “marriage” they think they have is just playing pretend, and entirely invalid. I would be more worried about the government being able to decide what marriage is and isn’t legitimate in the first place. That isn’t their job.

    1. Jennifer8 months ago

      Mike, do you want your spouse to be entitled to inherit your property without penalty if you pass away, or your children to be entitled to your Social Security if you die before they are grown? This happens because the government views your marriage as legitimate. If government didn’t have anything to do with marriage, then your marriage would protect your family just as much as your baptism does.

      1. Richard Simpkins7 months ago

        The same can be accomplished with civil unions for all.

    2. Mark6 months ago

      In a way I agree with you. Government shouldn’t have anything to do with marriage. That said, it wasn’t gay people that that put government in the mix. It was straight people when they decided their status should be recognized by the government and given additional rights and protections. So what you should do fight to desolve marriage as a civil institution. Once marriage is recognized solely as a religious institution and 300+ rights it received in the civil real vanish, it will be a moot point.

    3. Shawn A.4 months ago

      The bible does not define marriage between a man and woman. It merely keeps mentions Husband and Wife. It never says that only heterosexuals are allowed to marry, nor does it say that Homosexuals aren’t.

      1. larry1 month ago

        romans in the bible tells us chap. 1 verses 20-32 how wrong that same sex marriage is.


      2. Marshal Art1 month ago

        You’ve GOT to be kidding!! In what alternate universe would the Bible NOT mean male/female when using the terms “husband/wife”?

  3. Lisa10 months ago

    Oh my, I can’t believe there are still people out there who believe that same sex marriage is an issue of right and wrong. I will pray for you to learn the FACTS about homosexuality and hope that your backward, narrow mind will develop and progress. Whatever church you belong, I advise that you stop going … immediately. Obviously they are feeding you a line of crap when they spew the ignorant garbage you so willingly follow.

    (P.S) I’m a straight woman

  4. Albert10 months ago

    One reason most of the young people in this nation is for it is because they have not been taught the difference between right and wrong and wickedness and rightness .Albert

  5. Dean MacKinnon-Thomson11 months ago

    This is news to be welcomed. And while the gap between how Republicans see LGBT equality measures is wide compared to their Democrat counterparts; this does seem to confirm a change. A change prevailing across the transatlantic alliance (I speak as a Brit, with family in USA & a parent working with the EU).

    The reality is simple for the GOP: gay, lesbian, transgender, bisexual rights are on the march. And mainstream public sentiment no longer permits or tolerates their being treated less than equally regarding legal entitlements, and rights to access. In short, LGBT rights is a vivid expansion of the historic civil rights agenda.

    But can these younger GOP members really hope to change their wider party platform before the longer term damage to the party brand becomes too great? I’m not so sure.

    i) Tea Party fanatics continue to badger the primaries processes.
    There is precious little sign the resultant rightward slant of selected candidates will be ending anytime soon.
    ii) If the GOP continues to oppose LGBT equality in 2016 Presidentials, they may surrender credibility with a generation of younger voters.
    I’d say in exactly the same way the Democrats haemorrhaged traction with a generation of ‘middle class’ (US def of the term, not the Brit version) in the 1960s/70s (see Jefferson Cowie book ‘stayin’ alive’)

  6. laura11 months ago

    I AM NOT A REPUBLICAN, but I agree that marriage should be between a man and a woman. The politicians need the votes of all citizens of the United States, so they have been given the right to gay people marry to people of the same sex because that has always been on the agenda of the gay community and better chance of being elected to give people what they ask during the election0. This does not make me having anything against gay people, of course not, I respect all general gay or straight, but this is my opinion.

  7. Tyschev1 year ago

    It is not my business as to what my neighbor does in their own space on their own time. Flaunted in my face should result in action according to harm done. If I take a bunch of kids from a church out in public space and a gay couple wants to make a scene then they should be subject to prosecution on my request based on Intent. So should the actions of any couple creating a scene outside the boundaries set by the location. Without intent a crime was likely not committed. Back to the constitution folks. A church forced to recognize a gay marriage or a religious baker forced to create a gay wedding cake should be against so many values of our country it is ridiculous to think that the situations should even be spoken of. Government should not be in your home, and Mind Your Business! which happened to be printed on our old currency…

    1. Matthew12 months ago

      I agree that the rights of the religious must be respected, but when you’re talking about business, that’s a different matter entirely. Sure, it might seem reasonable for a bakery to refuse making a cake for a gay wedding, but what about the same principle applied to a grocery store or a gas station? In some towns, there’s only one of those available for miles around. There’s a reason many counties, cities and municipalities have anti-discrimination laws in place.

    2. Ella Fino12 months ago

      I would hope any couple whether gay or straight making a scene in front of your children would be a problem.

    3. andy11 months ago

      ‘Government should not be in your home, and Mind Your Business!’

      So if the government should stay out of my business, why do you support regulations that outlaw your neighbor’s love?

  8. Dennis Hill1 year ago

    Our children have been slowly yet aggressively indoctrinated by the Public School System, technically brainwashed in todays liberal political beliefs, even if it goes against the core values of their parents or the church. As a father of 3 and grandfather of 4, I saw this happening 30 years ago in the public school system, and I see where the pace has sped up today. Our children are no longer educated to be individual thinkers, the system does it’s best to educate our kids as a single thinking mass, or as I refer to them as “Politically Programmed Pods”.

    1. Lee1 year ago

      What’s your point on education then? Instead of being brainwashed by public school, better to be brainwashed by religion?

      1. Brad9 months ago

        Religion causes most of the atrocities that occur worldwide. Religion is causing muslims overseas to kill each other. You sit here and blame public schools for “brainwashing” kids…Look at what religion is doing to you.. BRAINWASHING YOU!

    2. Joe6 months ago

      Get out of here. I go to a public high school. There is no liberal agenda at public schools – there is more awareness about what homosexuality is: natural. Religion has become obsolete to many young folks because of the bigotry and prejudice that many spew out.

      1. gramma of 73 weeks ago

        @ Joe: Young man, Homosexuality is not natural. It is a choice and a stigmatizing of sexual preferences (behaviors.) You need to do more research on this topic.
        As far as religion goes, the point is morality and history not bigotry and prejudice, which you will find everywhere in this world of ours.

  9. Kvn1 year ago

    Maybe that is because if you are dumb enough to say something that can in any be construed as being against gay marriage you risk having your entire life turned upside down. While gay marriage supporters demand tolerance and understanding from others they have NONE themselves. They are the most hateful and INtolerant people in this country!

    1. Raoul Duke1 year ago

      “While gay marriage supporters demand tolerance and understanding from others they have NONE themselves”

      I can’t understand this. You are free to not like homosexuality and even hate people for practicing homosexuality but you don’t get to utilize the will of the majority to repress a minority.

      Well, you can but that makes you the problem. Stay out of their lives and they will stay out of yours. What is so hard to understand about that?

      If you can’t and my opposition to your attempts to institutionalize your personal dislikes is seen by you as “intolerant” then call me intolerant, it is a badge of honor in that context.

  10. slk1 year ago

    favors??? 61% of young republicans are gay??? shouldn’t the headline read, “have no problem with it”!!! i don’t care what other people do as long as they don’t spit on my shoes!!! if that were how many were gay, i would say the human race would disappear, sooner rather then later!!! they don’t reproduce very well!!!

  11. C Redd1 year ago

    It’s interesting how, by polls at least, the majority seem to always favor gay marriage yet voter bans are overturned by legislation instead of referendum. Also, if we never see the wording then the results are questionable. Sure, gays have lumped and masked homosexuality in with equality, but subtract the bias of equality and how many support being gay? To me, it just seems like homosexual confirmation bias being presented as reality, on the homosexuals biased perception same sex proclivity is laudable, and their inability to tell themselves apart from their orientation,

  12. Loren1 year ago

    Yes Fake Poll

  13. Dai Grepher1 year ago

    Another fake poll designed to sway public opinion.

    1. Tim Mayeaux1 year ago

      and the RINOs in the District of Corruption love the poll.

  14. Lee1 year ago

    I don’t believe all of your numbers, but part of the reason that society is changing on this issue is because you, other media, the schools, and Government are not telling the truth on what is good or bad ethically. Everywhere you look at our public institutions, you find ethical relativism being taught, and the young are being shown that the way you decide what is right and wrong is by asking yourself, would it feel good, would it give me some temporary pleasure, do I want it? If the answer to any of those questions is yes, then they are told that you entitled to it, it should not only be legal, your neighbor should pay for it with their tax dollars. Our public institutions rarely say, look at the design and purpose of your human body and think about the God who made you for that purpose. Young people are not being told that there are ethical absolutes, that basing you ethical decisions on you feelings is destructive of themselves and society. Most importantly, we are forgetting history. Very few remember that nihilism produces despotism. Life without design, purpose and God has caused us to think poorly, and behave badly. Once we drift from that natural ethical foundation, we loose the ability to properly govern our own individual life. To prevent civil chaos and anarchy, more Government and more police power will be necessary. Of course, with the elimination of ethical absolutes, there can never be enough police power to stem the tide unethical passions in the citizens. That’s how our present nihilism is producing the coming despotism.

    1. slk1 year ago

      can you say rachel canning???

  15. robert1 year ago

    How is it denial of equality? A group has decided it wants something and has screamed “HATE” and “HOMOPHOBE” to get it.

    1. Leslie1 year ago

      Individuals have decided they are human beings, stood up and told others they deserve all the same rights as other human beings.

      If you hear “screaming,” or any of the terms YOU use, then you have a problem. What you want is silence. That is not going to happen anymore.

      1. Amanda1 year ago

        Leslie – You mean like polygamists, those who want to be in incestuous relationships, pedophiles, zoophiles, etc? These people have decided they are human beings, and are beginning (or have been) to stand up and tell others they deserve the same rights as other human beings.

        1. Lleuwellyn1 year ago

          I get really sick of being tied in with people like pedophiles and people who sleep with animals. First off, most gay people (and YES I’m a lesbian), would throw themselves off the nearest cliff before they’d sleep with a child. Second, animals eww? Third, we’re not asking to be married to a child, and animal, or MORE THAN ONE PERSON. We’re asking for the right to marry a consenting adult. Which btw, neither children nor animals have the mind or right to consent – which is basically rape. Another thing that I’d cut my own foot off before I would do. So consider what you’re actually saying and reckoning people to, before it comes spewing out of your mouth. I am a human being seeking to be in a relationship with another, Adult, HUMAN BEING. Not an animal, not multiple people. THINK next time before you speak.

        2. Angie1 year ago

          Amanda, polygamy exists in the USA today. They aren’t pushing for legalization because all those “unwed” mothers collect government assistance thus adding to the family’s income. By nature, their lifestyle is not desirous of legalization. Animals are not able to give legal consent, nor are children and the state has a compelling interest to not legalize incest. These are all smokescreens to avoid the real issue. Research the Supreme Court’s decision in Loving vs. Virginia and read Chief Justice Warren’s opinion. Then substitute the word “racial” for the word “gender”. Now perhaps you can see through the smoke to try to understand the issue at hand.

        3. nina2 months ago

          Two consenting adults want to get married. There. Simple. No polygamy, no pedophilia.

          As a straight woman, it’s not my business if my gay neighbors want to get married. As a human being, it’s heartbreaking to watch other human beings not get access to the same rights I take for granted.

      2. Kvn1 year ago

        They have EXACTLY the same “rights” as everyone else! What they want is to change the definition of a word and they have decided the best way to get that done is ATTACK, insult, label, stereotype…. everyone who has the audacity not to agree with them!

  16. sosa1 year ago

    The media is pushing for alternative lifestyles to be mainstream so much that if you simply disagree then you are chastised,vilified and viciously attacked. Sad to see that the bullied have now become the bullies and there is no “freedom of speech” if it does not concur the view of those in this lifestyle. You cannot say certain things opposing alternative lifestyles but you can sell wholesale hate on Fox News against minorities,the President,women and the poor.

    1. Ray Knitterman Whiting1 year ago

      Simply disagreeing is not a problem. You can say whatever you want. You can socialize and associate with whomever you want. But pretending one’s personal disagreement or moral objection is adequate grounds to deny other people equality is the problem.

      1. Amanda1 year ago

        Ray: Homosexual /individuals/ have been treated equally in the realm of marriage for all of American history, and all history in most other societies. A homosexual male cannot marry another male, regardless of that male’s sexual orientation. The exact same limitations is set upon a heterosexual male.

        I as a heterosexual female cannot marry a female, regardless of said female’s sexual orientation.

        So we’re all treated “equally.”

      2. slk1 year ago

        there’s a big stink about hobby lobby, but no problem with okla governor’s “ex” hairdresser, saying he won’t cut her hair!!!

    2. Tim Mayeaux1 year ago

      supreme court ruled in 2003 that minorities were 4/5ths a person. Not FOX news. War on women is only declared on “silly” (foolish) women. The smart are not fooled by lines of a liar. Spread their legs for whatever comes along, or for gain.

  17. sosa1 year ago

    Very hard to believe and statistics are only as good as the statistician. If the statistician has an agenda then the information may be skewed. So these Republicans are more accepting of gay lifestyles than they are affordable healthcare,minoritys, the poor and women’s rights? Hmm…. Gays are not a monolithic group and I do believe,however, that there are many closeted Republicans.

    1. Leslie1 year ago

      These younger GOP groups are accepting of other people, including those with religious “lifestyles.”

  18. Kevin Degidon1 year ago

    Get it? There only 10 young Republicans!

  19. Kevin Degidon1 year ago

    This just in, a poll shows that 6 in 10 Republican Millenials support gay marriage. The starting finding is this poll had no margin of error because it polled all young Republicans.

  20. Fernando Cardoso Oliveira1 year ago

    Isso mostra que a sociedade americana está vivendo um novo momento, e os jovens são a principal mudança!

  21. jeremiah1 year ago

    i wonder how many people where interviewed?

  22. Leslie1 year ago

    KL: The “moralizing” over someone else’s life?
    That’s covered in other surveys on a number of subjects.

    The compulsion to vote on or pass moral judgment about other people’s lives, well, my ancestors and family call that gossip.

  23. Kevin Loker1 year ago

    There is a little nuance here, right? Judging by the chart, the question asked whether they favor gays and lesbians to marry *legally*. That part doesn’t really filter into the write-up:

    A more accurate version of the second graph would read: “Today, 61% of Republicans and Republican leaners under 30 favor same-sex marriage *as recognized by the state* while just 35% oppose it. By contrast, just 27% of Republicans ages 50 and older favor allowing gays and lesbians to marry *in the eyes of the U.S. legal system*.”

    Or something like that. Basically, this is a very interesting number — but does it oversimplify the mindset? The headlines says “61% of young Republicans favor same-sex marriage,” but how many of those people favor the relationships be recognized by the state, but don’t think it’s “moral” or something along those lines? I’d imagine this number breaks down to be something that isn’t 61% percent support it in the way that it’s described…

    Could you point us towards the text of the questions, too? Thanks for your work.

    1. Ricardo1 year ago

      You may want to re-read the write-up. The moral factor you ask for is clearly covered in the “good for society” question. What are morals but societies standards?

      1. Kevin Loker1 year ago

        The questions are asking slightly different things, right? The first (as judging by the graphic) asks whether people favor allowing gays and lesbians to marry legally; the second asks about whether gay and lesbian couples raising more kids is a good thing, but it asks that devoid of any legal construct.

        The reason I said “morals” (in quotes) was to point out that the way the question appears to be worded doesn’t directly connect with the wording of, say, the headline. I’m not taking any sides at all; just looking at the wording. It’s very possible to imagine some young Republicans thinking that same-sex marriage should be okay legally, because the Constitution would appear to allow it, but then them still having some disagreement with the concept of same-sex marriage in general. Thus, they wouldn’t “favor” the entire idea of same-sex marriage — but legally, because of how the Constitution works, ya sure. Does that make sense?

        My apologies if I’m not articulating well — just pointing out that there are different things here. You could have people who completely support same-sex marriage and think it should be legal and held in the same regard as heterosexual marriage. Then, for instance, you could have people who don’t think marriage should be regulated by the state at all. If that group is asked whether they think same-sex marriage should be allowed legally, and they do think the Constitution as-is would allow it, well, then they’re going to say they think it should be allowed legally — regardless of where they think it falls on any moral compass.

    2. Robert Timsah1 year ago

      The libertarian stance on gay marriage is kinda wonkish.

      While most libertarians believe in live and let live, they want the state out of marriage and find the fact that the state is involved in it – rather silly. Ron Paul said this several times. And now we see the libertarian growth amongst the 20 and 30 somethings influencing this.

      I think it makes for a very confusing issue to poll.