In a just-released ABC News/Washington Post poll, support for same-sex marriage among Americans dropped slightly to 47% from 49%, but 50% say same-sex marriage should be “illegal,” (up from 46%.) 42% believe “strongly” that same-sex marriage should be illegal. Only 31% of those supporting marriage equality do so strongly.
The changes against an April, 2009 poll, from 47% to 49% and from 46% to 50% are somewhat disheartening, although close to the margin of error of plus or minus three percentage points. The Post calls support for marriage equality “steady.”
Here’s the good news:
“Two-thirds now say they favor allowing gay and lesbian couples to form civil unions that would give them many of the same legal rights as married couples. That’s an increase of 12 percentage points since a December 2007 poll that asked about civil unions for “homosexual couples.”
“In the new poll, support for civil unions is at 50 percent or better across party and ideological lines. Support for such arrangements is now 15 points higher than it was a few years ago among conservatives; it’s up 13 points among Republicans.”
In the new poll, a sharp age divide remains on the question, with younger adults broadly supportive of gay marriage while most seniors oppose it. A majority of those under age 30 say they feel strongly that gay marriages should be legal, marking the first time in Post-ABC polling that figure has topped 50 percent.
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