Numerous surveys have consistently shown that Americans’ support for same-sex marriage has been growing steadily for some time — but a new Gallup poll reveals some surprising wrinkles which show room for improvement on marriage equality issues.
The new poll, which used data based on telephone interviews with a random sample of 1,535 adults, found that 63 percent of Americans believe that the U.S. public is opposed to gay marriage, implying that those who do support marriage equality believe that their views are in the minority.
On a similar note, the poll also found that a mere 19 percent of Americans believe that same-sex marriage will “change society for the better.” This figure is up from 10 percent in 2003.
“Groups most likely to support gay marriage generally tilt toward the view that it will neither harm nor benefit society,” Gallup’s Jeffrey M. Jones writes. “Thus, it appears that a segment of those who support gay marriage don’t necessarily do so thinking that such a policy change would be good for society, but rather because they think it will do no harm — a view that goes along with a more libertarian perspective that allows people to do what they want as long as it doesn’t hurt other people.”
Read more about the Gallup poll here.
The poll comes on the heels of a number of earlier marriage equality-related surveys which found solid support for same-sex marriage across the board. An NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll released in April found that 53 percent of Americans favored allowing same-sex marriages, while 63 percent said that the federal government should recognize same-sex marriages performed in states that have already legalized them.
Meanwhile, an ABC News/Washington Post poll similarly found that 55 percent of Americans say they support the right of same-sex couples to legally tie the knot, while seven out of 10 said they backed NBA veteran Jason Collins’ decision to come forward about his sexual orientation in a Sports Illustrated op-ed.
A December 2012 survey, released by Politico and George Washington University, showed that, out of 1,000 likely voters, 40 percent of respondents said they support marriage equality, while 30 percent said they supported civil unions.