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For The First Time, Majority Of Older Americans Support Same-Sex Relationships

by David Badash on June 4, 2013

in Marriage,News,Politics

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Gallup Finds Older Americans’ Support For Gay Relationships Makes Huge 25 Percentage Point Jump Since 2001


Three out of four younger Americans, aged 18 to 34, support same-sex relationships, and a similar number support same-sex marriage, but for years common wisdom has been that older Americans’ views were unchanging. Some, like conservative pundit George Will, have said that “quite literally, the opposition to gay marriage is dying. It’s old people.”

Well, even that seems to be changing. In fact, according to a Gallup study just released today, for the first time ever, the majority of those aged 55 and older now find same-sex relationships “morally acceptable,” creating majority support across every age group.

“Americans’ attitudes toward gay or lesbian relations have shown the greatest overall change over the course of Gallup’s tracking, with moral acceptance increasing 19 points between 2001 and 2013,” Gallup reports:

Much of this change has occurred across the age spectrum. Acceptance of gay or lesbian relations among Americans aged 55 and older is now 25 points higher than it was in 2001. While Americans between the ages of 18 and 34 have consistently reported support for gay and lesbian relations at higher levels than older age groups, their support has also risen by 22 points in the past 12 years.

The study did not ask about acceptance of same-sex marriage, but rates of support are similar in recent polls.

Last month, Gallup noted 46 percent of Americans aged 50-64 support same-sex marriage, and 41 percent support from those aged 65 and older.

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