Gallup Poll Shows Support Remains High for Marriage Equality

by Kilian Melloy

EDGE Staff Reporter

Wednesday June 3, 2020

A new edition of the yearly Gallup poll that looks at the support of marriage equality finds that support today is just as high as it was when it hit a peak level two years ago, reports political news outlet The Hill.

The annual poll measures American attitudes around "values and beliefs," The Hill reported, and is conducted each May. When the issue of marriage equality was first addressed, in 1996 - the year the state of Hawaii first contemplated making marriage for same-sex couples legal there - only 27% of respondents indicated support, The Hill recalled.

But throughout the ensuing decades - during an era of ballot initiatives on amendments to state constitutions designed to bolster conservative voters turnout, the steady march of marriage equality from state to state starting with Massachusetts in 2004, the eventual overturning of the anti-LGBTQ "Don't Ask Don't Tell" policy that prevented non-heterosexual Americans in uniform to tell the truth about themselves, and the 2015 Supreme Court finding that finally made marriage equality the law of the land in all 50 states - public support for the equal right to marry has steadily increased.

That support hit an all-time high in 2018, despite the election of Donald Trump in 2016 and that administration's immediate actions to roll back progress and erase LGBTQ Americans in various ways.

Unsurprisingly, Democrats have been quickest to embrace the right of all Americans to marry the person they love and commit to, regardless of gender. But Republicans - who have been slower to arrive at the same conclusion despite party lines regarding "personal responsibility" and "individual liberty" - have also increasingly become supportive of marriage equality.

The new poll states the two in three Americans - or 67% - support equal marriage rights, matching the 2018 result of 67%, despite a dip last year when only 63% offered that support.

"The latest figure comes just before the fifth anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling that all states must recognize same-sex marriages," the new Gallup poll notes.

Kilian Melloy serves as EDGE Media Network's Assistant Arts Editor. He also reviews theater for WBUR. His professional memberships include the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, the Boston Online Film Critics Association, The Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and the Boston Theater Critics Association's Elliot Norton Awards Committee.

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