Most Americans see gay marriage as inevitable: survey

Thu Jun 6, 2013 11:03am EDT
 
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By Edith Honan

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Nearly three-quarters of Americans, including a majority of those who personally object to extending marriage rights to same-sex couples, say legal recognition of gay marriage is "inevitable," according to a survey by the Pew Research Center released on Thursday.

The survey found that just over half of Americans favor giving gays and lesbians the right to marry, while 42 percent oppose legalizing gay marriage.

In March, a Pew survey found 49 percent of Americans favored same-sex marriage and 44 percent were opposed.

"It just keeps ticking up and up and up, and we wanted to register that we've crossed that threshold," Michael Dimock, the director of the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press, said in an interview.

Seventy-two percent of those surveyed said they believed legal recognition of same-sex marriage was inevitable, including 85 percent of gay marriage supporters and 59 percent of opponents.

Dimock said that sense of inevitability about gay marriage is shared by Democrats, Republicans and independents in equal measure, with more than 70 percent of each group expressing that view. "What stood out most to us is this very broad sense that legal recognition of same-sex marriage is inevitable," he said.

It was not immediately clear how much recent media headlines had influenced this belief, though gay rights advocates have been celebrating a string of landmark victories.

In 2011, President Barack Obama declared gays and lesbians would be able to serve openly in the military and the following year he became the first sitting president to endorse same-sex marriage. Meanwhile, the number of U.S. states allowing gay nuptials has grown from six to twelve since last November.   Continued...

 
A woman puts a ring on the hand of another woman in a civil union ceremony after Colorado's civil union law went into effect in Denver May 1, 2013. REUTERS/Rick Wilking