Support for same-sex marriage reaches all time high, survey finds

N'dea Yancey-Bragg, USA TODAY
·2 min read

The percentage of Americans who support same-sex marriage has reached an all time high, according to a national poll released Monday.

The survey, conducted by the Public Religion Research Institute in partnership with the Brookings Institution, found 70% of Americans favor allowing gay and lesbian couples to marry legally. The majority of most political and religious groups surveyed also expressed support for same-sex marriage.

Eighty percent of Democrats, 76% of independents and half of Republicans support marriage equality, according to the survey from the nonprofit, nonpartisan research organizations.

Most major religious groups followed the same trend, including 90% of religiously unaffiliated Americans, 79% of white mainline Protestants, 78% of Hispanic Catholics, 72% of members of non-Christian religious groups, 68% of Hispanic Protestants, 67% of white Catholics, 57% of Black Protestants, and 56% of members of other Christian religious groups.

White evangelical Protestants were the only major religious group in which a majority (63%) opposes allowing gay and lesbian couples to marry.

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The survey findings were published before news broke Wednesday that Pope Francis endorsed same-sex civil unions, sparking cheers from gay Catholics and demands for clarification from conservatives, given the Vatican’s official teaching on the issue.

More than 8 in 10 Americans favor laws that would protect gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people against discrimination in jobs, public accommodations, and housing. Majorities of every political and religious group favor these nondiscrimination laws.

President Donald Trump has restricted transgender people from serving in the military, opposed the Equality Act – a bill that would have ensured federal protections for LGBTQ people – and revoked protections for transgender students in schools.

The results also come ahead of the Senate vote to confirm Trump's nominee Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court, a move which advocates view as threatening to the LGBTQ community.

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The results are part of the 11th annual American Values survey, which polled 2,538 American adults from Sept. 9 to 22 on a variety of topics. Although respondents largely agreed on issues of LGBT rights, the survey found supporters of different presidential candidates largely disagree on other major issues, including the coronavirus pandemic and the widespread racial justice protests.

“Republicans and Democrats seem to be living in different countries," PRRI founder Robert P. Jones said in a statement. "Republicans see terrorism and crime as the most pressing issues while Democrats are more concerned about the coronavirus pandemic, health care and racial inequality."

Contributing: The Associated Press; Joshua Bote, USA TODAY

Follow N'dea Yancey-Bragg on Twitter: @NdeaYanceyBragg

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Same-sex marriage support reaches all time high: PRRI survey