Survey: More Americans support than oppose same-sex marriage

Support and Opposition to Same Sex Marriage: 1988-2010 GSS

Support and Opposition to Same Sex Marriage: 1988-2010 GSS

The General Social Survey (GSS) released data for 2010 last week, and according to Sociologist Darren Sherkat of Southern Illinois University, who boiled down the numbers, for the first time, more Americans support than oppose same-sex marriage.

Support and Opposition to Same Sex Marriage: 1988-2010 GSS

As the graph reveals, the shift is dramatic; in 1988, just 22 years ago, only 12% of Americans supported gay marriage. In 2010, it was 46%, with only 40% opposed. And it’s even a big shift from 2008 to 2010: support went up seven points, and opposition trended downward seven points.

“For the first time, a legitimate scientific survey is showing very clearly that the proportion of Americans who agree or strongly agree that same sex marriage should be legal exceeds the proportion who either oppose or strongly oppose marital rights,” reports Sherkat.

The General Social Survey (GSS) is a survey used to collect data on demographic characteristics and attitudes of residents of the United States.

Since 1994, it has been conducted every other year. As of 2008, 27 national samples with 53,043 respondents and 5,364 variables had been collected. So that’s no small sampling done — over 50,000 people were interviewed for this.

Similarly, in the most recent CBS polling from August 2010, it’s clear to see over the past 8 years approval has been trending upwards and opposition trending downwards. Gay marriage: 40%, Civil Unions: 30% and no recognition of same-sex couples rights: 25%.

Slowly but surely kids. Getting there. I learned in 7th grade Social Studies class “Evolution represents slow changes that last, revolution is often quick changes that don’t.”

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