new poll released by the Washington Post and ABC News shows that 50 percent of Americans believe that gay and lesbian couples have a constitutional right to marry guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution’s Equal Protection clause. Additionally, 56 percent of Americans and 77 percent of those under the age of thirty support marriage rights for same-sex couples.  Today’s results are the latest in an ever-expanding trend showing Americans moving inexorably in the direction of supporting equality for same-sex couples.

In addition to 77 percent of 18- to 29-year-olds, marriage equality enjoys broad support from 30- to 39-year-olds -- 68 percent. Even 50 percent of those between the ages of 40 and 64 support marriage equality.  During the 2012 presidential election, 84 percent of voters fell into one of these age brackets where there is majority support for marriage equality.   

Among those who say they strongly oppose marriage equality, nearly half say it’s not even “somewhat” important to them. Conversely, only 19 percent of strong marriage equality supporters put such low priority on the issue. In fact, 81 percent of strong supporters say it's at least "somewhat" important. 

Other recent polls show rising support for marriage equality among various demographic groups.  A March 2014 poll shows 61 percent of Republicans and Republican leaners under the age of thirty support marriage rights for gay and lesbian couples.  One month earlier, the New York Times and CBS News released polling that puts marriage equality support among Catholics at 62 percent.  More recent polling info is available online here

Today 44 percent of Americans live in a jurisdiction with marriage equality.  Same-sex couples can legally marry in nineteen states and the District of Columbia, while 31 states have a law or constitutional amendment restricting marriage to the union of one man and one woman.  

For more information on the current marriage equality landscape and court cases in America, visit

Filed under: Marriage

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