Public opinion on same-sex marriage
Table of Contents
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.
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%).
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.
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.