Americans Support Marriage Equality by Historic Margin in New Poll

by Charles Joughin

ABC News/WP shows 58 percent support for marriage for gay and lesbian couples

WASHINGTON – The latest ABC News/Washington Post poll shows a record high of 58 percent of registered voters nationwide supporting marriage equality.  Additionally, voters overwhelmingly say that the U.S. Constitution should be the basis for deciding if gay couples can marry rather than leaving the decision to individual states (64 to 33 percent).

“There can be no doubt that this country is on a one-way road to marriage for loving and committed gay and lesbian couples,” said Human Rights Campaign President Chad Griffin.  “This new poll reflects the continued evolution of people’s attitudes through thoughtful conversations over dinner tables and water coolers.”

Today, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton voiced her support for marriage equality in a video released by the Human Rights Campaign.  Just last week Republican Senator Rob Portman described his evolution on the issue once his some came out to him as gay.

The poll found increasing support of marriage for gay and lesbian couples among a variety of demographic groups.  Adults 18 to 29 support marriage equality at 81 percent.  Support among seniors has jumped 26 percentage points in the last nine years, Republican support has jumped 18 points since 2004, and Independent support is at 62 percent compared to 38 percent nine years ago.

Next week the Supreme Court will hear arguments in two marriage-related cases – one challenging the federal Defense of Marriage Act and another challenging California’s ban on marriage for gay and lesbian couples known as Proposition 8.  The poll shows both supporters and opponents of marriage equality say the Constitution should be the basis for determining who can marry – including majorities of self-identified conservatives and Republicans.

The Human Rights Campaign is America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality. By inspiring and engaging all Americans, HRC strives to end discrimination against LGBT citizens and realize a nation that achieves fundamental fairness and equality for all.

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