The study finds that 61 percent of Republicans and Republican leaners under 30 favor same-sex marriage while just 35 percent oppose it. By contrast, just 27 percent of Republicans ages 50 and older favor allowing gays and lesbians to marry.
Support was lowest among Republicans aged over 65 where only 22 percent supported marriage equality.
Overall, only 39 percent of Republicans surveyed said they supported same-sex marriage.
Among Democratic voters, a majority of respondents across all age categories said they supported same-sex marriage, with the highest among those aged 18 to 29 (77 percent) and lowest among those aged over 65 (62 percent). Overall, 69 percent of Democrats supported same-sex marriage.
Pew also reports that more than half the public (54 percent) now favors allowing gays and lesbians to legally marry, a record high in Pew Research surveys, and consistent with findings from other recent polls.
Young Republicans’ more liberal views on homosexuality also extended to the family dynamic, Pew reports. Just 18% percent of Republicans under 30 say “more gay and lesbian couples raising children” is a bad thing for American society, while 26 percent say it is a good thing (56 percent either say it doesn’t make a difference or they don’t know).
Only 33 percent of Republican voters under 30 said that more same-sex couples raising children was a bad thing for society, while one-in-four said it was a good thing.
The latest Pew findings come at a time of dramatic transformation of public attitudes on same-sex relationships, led by public education by advocacy groups such as Freedom to Marry, and political, legislative and court-ordered developments alike.
An ABC News/Washington Post poll released last week also found record numbers of Americans say they now support same-sex marriage, that say adoption by gay couples should be legal and see gays and lesbians as good parents.