HRC Blog

Support for Marriage Equality Sees 21-Point Jump in Last Eight Years, Poll Shows

HRC rings; Marriage equality; Same-sex marriagePost submitted by Dan Rafter, Former HRC Associate Director of Communications

Support for marriage equality has increased by 21 points over the last eight years, according to a new Hart/McInturff poll for NBC News/Wall Street Journal. The bipartisan poll shows support for marriage equality at 51 percent, up significantly from 30 percent in 2004 and 41 percent in 2009. The survey is just the latest in a series of polls illustrating the growing momentum for marriage equality. A November Gallup poll found that 53 percent of Americans support committed gay and lesbian couples getting married, while a recent Washington Post/ABC News survey also found majority support.

Last month, for the first time ever, voters in Maine, Maryland, and Washington State approved marriage equality; while voters in Minnesota soundly rejected a proposed constitutional amendment that would have banned same-sex couples from marrying. The Hart/McInturff poll found increased support for marriage equality at the state level, with 55 percent of voters saying they would support a marriage equality law passed in their state.

Forty percent of those surveyed opposed allowing same-sex couples to marry, down significantly from 62 percent in 2004, according to the poll. In a testament to the power of personal stories, 60 percent of those supporting marriage equality reported knowing someone who is gay. Of those opposing marriage equality, only 31 percent reported even knowing a gay or lesbian person – while nearly 60 percent said they didn’t know any.

HRC reported yesterday that pro-equality supporters fighting for marriage equality in Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, and Washington State this year raised more than $34 million from mostly small donors. The opposition, meanwhile, raised just $12 million – nearly two-thirds of which came from the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) and the Roman Catholic Church. In fact, NOM saw a steep one-third decline in contributions in 2011, with two mysterious donors providing 75 percent of the organization’s funding.

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