Gallup: Record-high 60 percent of Americans support same-sex marriage

Shelly Bailes, 74, left, and her wife, Ellen Pontac, 73, of Davis, Calif., kiss in front of the Supreme Court in Washington, where justices were hearing arguments in same-sex marriage cases, April 28, 2015.

Shelly Bailes, 74, left, and her wife, Ellen Pontac, 73, of Davis, Calif., kiss in front of the Supreme Court in Washington, where justices were hearing arguments in same-sex marriage cases, April 28, 2015. Cliff Owen, AP

Shelly Bailes, 74, left, and her wife, Ellen Pontac, 73, of Davis, Calif., kiss in front of the Supreme Court in Washington, where justices were hearing arguments in same-sex marriage cases, April 28, 2015.Cliff Owen, AP

Shelly Bailes, 74, left, and her wife, Ellen Pontac, 73, of Davis, Calif., kiss in front of the Supreme Court in Washington, where justices were hearing arguments in same-sex marriage cases, April 28, 2015.

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Just one month before the U.S. Supreme Court is expected to rule on the constitutionality of states’ same-sex marriage bans, support for gay unions has reached a record 60 percent, according to a Gallup survey released Tuesday.

This is up from 55% last year and is the highest Gallup has found on the question since it was first asked in 1996.

Public support for the legality of same-sex marriage first reached a majority in 2011, when 53% supported it. Since then, support has ranged from 48% to 55%. The five-percentage-point increase in this year’s Values and Beliefs poll, conducted May 6-10, is the largest year-to-year climb since 2011, when support rose by nine points.

Support for the legality of gay marriages in the U.S. has been a fast-changing trend. Just two decades ago, only 27% of Americans backed gay marriage, while 68% opposed. By 2005, the percentage in favor had increased by 10 points to 37%, and by 2010 it had reached 44%.

The record high in support comes roughly one month before the Supreme Court is to issue a ruling on the constitutionality of same-sex marriage. Americans, at this point, are not highly familiar with the case, with 42% following it closely — well below the average 60% for news issues Gallup has measured over the past two decades. Attention to the case is similar among supporters and opponents of gay marriage.

Full report at Gallup

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