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Gallup: For first time ever, majority of Americans support same-sex marrige

Friday, May 20, 2011
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A majority of Americans — 53 percent — now believe same-sex marriage should be recognized as legally valid, and with the same rights and benefits as traditional marriage, according to a Gallup Poll released on Friday.

The results reflect a nine-point increase in support for same-sex marriage over last year’s polling, the largest year-over-year shift, and the first ever majority support in a Gallup Poll.

Democrats’ and independents’ support for legalized same-sex marriage increased this year by 13 and 10 points, respectively. Republicans’ views on the issue did not change from last year.

Clear majorities of both Democrats and independents now support gay marriage, 69% and 59% respectively, contrasted with 28% support among Republicans. [...]

This year marks a significant uptick in support for legalizing same-sex marriage, exceeding the symbolic 50% mark for the first time in Gallup’s history.

The results are based on Gallup’s May 5-8 Values and Beliefs poll, which has tracked attitudes toward legalizing same-sex marriage each year since 2004, adding to Gallup’s initial polling on the topic in 1996 and 1999.

“The trend toward marriage equality is undeniable — and irreversible,” said HRC President Joe Solmonese. “Marriage for committed, loving couples continues to be an important value of the American people.”

“This most recent poll reaffirms that Americans have been listening and, in Lincoln’s words, ‘thinking anew’ or, as President Obama would put it, ‘evolving,’” said Evan Wolfson, founder and President of Freedom to Marry.

“In conversations with their gay and lesbian neighbors, co-workers, and family members, and reflecting on their own values of fairness and respect, Americans have had the opportunity to learn about why marriage matters to same-sex couples and their families,” Wolfson said.

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