Polling points to continued momentum for marriage equality following historic electoral landslide
Washington – 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.
“The massive increase in support we’ve seen for marriage equality in the last few years is nothing short of historic,” said Human Rights Campaign President Chad Griffin. “Americans are sending a clear message that supporting freedom and equality for their LGBT friends, family members and neighbors is just common-sense, and the right thing to do. The clear wins in all four states on Election Day bear this out and we expect more victories as LGBT Americans, their family and friends continue to share their stories.”
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.
“As momentum increases for equality, groups like NOM that are blatantly anti-LGBT are going to have greater difficulty raising money and remaining viable. It’s simply no longer acceptable to associate with groups that make discriminating against Americans their primary mission,” added Griffin.
The Human Rights Campaign is the largest national lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender political organization with members throughout the country. It effectively lobbies Congress, provides campaign support and educates the public to ensure that LGBT Americans can be open, honest and safe at home, at work and in the community.