Half of Americans Support Gay Marriage

A new poll reveals insights into the evolution of same-sex marriage rights

More than half of Americans say same-sex marriage should be legal. It’s the first time this many people in the U.S. showed support for LGBT equality, according to polls by ABC News and The Washington Post. Seven years ago, little more than 30 percent of people said they supported gay marriage. The number of opponents is down today by 18 points.

ABC News reports that despite growing support for gay and lesbian rights related to marriage in this country among many – particularly people under the age of 50 – the issue is still polarizing. As many as two-in-one Republicans oppose granting gays the same rights as heterosexual couples when it comes to marriage.

The poll also reveals that while many evangelical white Protestants are the core opponents of gay marriage, support has actually grown among Catholics, political moderates, men and people in their thirties and forties, says ABC.

People pushing for gay marriage are younger than 30 and in their thirties, according to the polls. ABC says 57 percent of young people under 30 and 68 percent of people in their thirties support marriage rights – this number is up almost a quarter since 2004.

In an interview with ABC at the end of last year, Vice President Joe Biden predicted that gay marriage is “inevitable” in the United States. Today, five states allow same-sex couples to legally wed or offer civil unions.