Majority of Republicans now support same-sex marriage. It’s only taken until 2021

·2-min read

More Americans than ever support same-sex marriage including record levels of Republicans and older people.

Gallup’s survey of 1,016 American adults showed at least 70 per cent supported same-sex marriage. This is an all-time high since the analytics firm started tracking such attitudes in 1996 when only 27 per cent of Americans supported recognition of same-sex marriages.

The latest figure is also 10 percentage points higher than the 60 per cent of Americans who supported same-sex marriage in 2015. The US Supreme Court ruled in June 2015 that same-sex marriage was a constitutional right and must be recognised the same as any other union under the law.

This is also the first year where a majority of Republicans, who have traditionally been “opponents of legalisation”, supported same-sex marriage. Over half (55 per cent) of Republicans surveyed by Gallup said they had a favourable attitude towards same-sex unions.

When the records began in 1996, only 16 per cent of Republicans said they supported same-sex marriage. Gallup attributed this dramatic increase to “changes in Republicans’ views” in the recent past.

The support for same-sex marriages within the Democrat political party has remained consistent. Gallup reported the current 83 per cent among Democrats is “on par with the level of support” it has “recorded over the past few years”. The firm said this could “suggest that support for gay marriage has reached a ceiling for this group” for now.

Support for same-sex marriage also increased slightly among political independents to a record high of 73 per cent, up from the 68 per cent to 71 per cent recorded from 2017 to 2020.

Gallup also noted support among adults aged over 55 jumped from 51 per cent in 2019 up to 60 per cent of adults in 2021. The analytics firm reported this means older adults, “who were once holdouts in support for gay marriage”, now “come down on the same side of the issue as young adults”.

There was also a modest increase in the number of young adults aged 18 to 34 who support same-sex marriage. In 2019, 81 per cent of people in this age group said they supported equal marriage. This increased to 84 per cent in 2021.

Gallup reported people aged between 35 and 54 saw a 10 percentage point increase over the last two years – the largest jump in support for same-sex marriage of the age groups surveyed. Three in five (62 per cent) of adults in this age demographic said they supported same-sex marriage in 2019. Just two years later, this increased to 72 per cent of adults in this group.

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