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Survey: 75 percent of incoming college freshmen support same-sex marriage

Thursday, January 24, 2013
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Support for same-sex marriage rose to 75 percent among incoming freshmen at four-year colleges, according to a massive survey conducted by UCLA’s Higher Education Research Institute.

The survey, released Thursday, found that support for marriage equality was up 4 points from just a year ago and up 24 points from 1997.

Among freshmen calling themselves conservative, 47 percent support same-sex marriage, up from 43 percent a year ago. The number who believe abortion should be legal has also increased, from 58 percent in 2008 to 61 percent this year, while 65 percent believe the wealthy should pay higher taxes (up from 60 percent in 2008).

Each year since 1966, UCLA’s Higher Education Research Institute conducts the survey, asking incoming freshmen questions about their motivations, their plans and their political views.

This year’s survey is based on the responses of 192,912 first-time, full-time students at 283 four-year colleges. The responses are statistically weighted to reflect the broader population of such students — approximately 1.5 million at 1,613 institutions nationally.

Associated Press contributed to this report.

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