New Poll Shows Highest Level of Support for Marriage Equality Ever Recorded

by Elizabeth Bibi

Yesterday, the Public Religious Research Institute (PRRI) – the gold standard for polling on LGBTQ issues – released its annual American Values Survey, tracking support for LGBTQ equality. The poll found that 70% of people in the United States support same-sex marriage, the highest percentage recorded by a major national poll. The results show that the overwhelming majority of people in the United States support LGBTQ equality, including both Democrats and Republicans and adherents to most major religious denominations. Yesterday, in a significant step for inclusion and acceptance in the Catholic Church, Pope Francis publicly stated support for same-sex unions.

The survey results also come in the midst of the confirmation process for Judge Amy Coney Barrett, who has defended the Supreme Court’s dissenters on the landmark marriage equality case, Obergefell v. Hodges. Earlier this month, Justices Thomas and Alito wrote that the marriage equality decision in Obergefell v. Hodges was a “problem” that only the Supreme Court could fix. If Amy Coney Barrett is confirmed by the United States Senate, we could be one step closer to a Supreme Court bent on relagating same-sex couples marriages to “skim milk,” despite overwhelming support for marriage equality from the American people.

The vast majority of people – 70%– in the United States now support same-sex marriage. This majority has only grown since the Supreme Court’s landmark marriage equality decision in 2015.

  • This is the highest percentage ever recorded by a major national poll
  • Support has increased dramatically: it is now +42 (70%-28%). In 2019, it was +29 (62%-33%). This is a substantial increase in a short period of time; in 2007, it was -19 (36%-55%)

Approval of same-sex marriage crosses the political divide.

  • 80% of Democrats and 76% of Independents support same-sex marriage
  • Even 50% of Republicans support same-sex marriage

Most major religious denominations back marriage equality including:

  • 79% of white mainline Protestants
  • 78% of Hispanic Roman Catholics
  • 72% of religious non-Christians
  • 68% of Hispanic Protestants
  • 67% of white Catholics
  • 57% of Black Protestants
  • 56% of other Christian denominations
  • 90% of religiously unaffiliated Americans

Support for nondiscrimination protections also grew substantially this year, after not changing much for a decade.

  • 83% of Americans now "favor laws that would protect gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people against discrimination in jobs, public accommodations, and housing,” compared to only 16% of Americans who oppose such laws.
    • This is compared to 72% in 2019
  • 94% of Democrats, 85% of Independents and 68% of Republicans favor nondiscrimination laws that protect LGBTQ people