A new Gallup poll indicates more Americans than ever believe same-sex marriage should be recognized by the law. Nearly two years after Obergefell v. Hodges made marriage equality legal in all 50 states, 64% of respondents in from Gallup’s annual Values and Beliefs poll said they support the freedom to marry.
Despite gains by anti-equality Republicans in the November elections, that represents a steady uptick: In 2016, 61% of Americans supported in marriage equality.
In 2015, it was 55%.
Americans’ support for same-sex marriage has more than doubled since Gallup first polled on the issue in 1996, when 27% said it should be recognized as valid by the law. In 2004 — weeks before gay weddings took place in Massachusetts after it became the first state to legalize same-sex marriage — less than half of Americans (42%) felt such unions should be legally valid. Majority support for gay marriage would not come until May 2011, about a month before New York became the sixth state to legalize it. Since then, support for legal same-sex marriage has steadily climbed, with consistent majorities in favor of it since late 2012.
Politically, 74% of Democrats and 71% of Independents support marriage equality, as compared to 47% of Republicans. Which may explain why state legislatures continue to push measures aimed at limiting or ending same-sex marriage.
Conducted the week of May 4, the survey also found that 72% of Americans agree same-sex relations should be legal. In 1977, when Gallup first polled respondents, only 43% believed that.