A new Fox News Poll released shows that Americans across the nation support marriage equality by 49% to 46%. When Fox first asked a marriage equality question in 2003, the results were 58% opposed to it and only 32% in favor. This is a shift of 17% in just ten years.
The polls showed:
Support for gay marriage has increased by 27 percentage points among moderates since 2003, 22 points among independents and 21 points among Democrats. Over the same time period, the number of liberals backing gay marriage more than doubled.
There are smaller yet still significant changes among Republicans (+10 points) and conservatives (+13 points).
And while support among voters under age 35 was fairly robust in 2003, it is also up by 9 points: from 53 percent to 62 percent in the new poll.
Those most likely to favor legalizing gay marriage include those who never attend church (76 percent), liberals (72 percent), voters ages 30 and younger (65 percent), and Democrats (65 percent). Groups most likely to oppose it include “very” conservatives (82 percent), Tea Partiers (75 percent), white evangelical Christians (70 percent) and Republicans (64 percent).
As the U.S. Supreme Court prepares to hear two same-sex marriage cases next week, the poll suggests a disconnect between public opinion and legal reasoning.
When asked the narrower question of whether gay marriage is a right guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution, 53 percent of voters say it is, while 43 percent disagree.