Record number of Americans back same-sex marriage as Supreme Court fears grow

Support for same-sex marriage has reached an all-time high in the US, according to new polling.

Seventy-one per cent of Americans said they support same-sex marriage in Gallup’s annual Values and Beliefs poll, released Wednesday (1 June).

This is one percentage point more than last year, and the highest level of support since Gallup began asking Americans about marriage equality in 1996. That year, just 27 per cent of Americans supported same-sex unions.

According to Gallup, the statistic reflects a “steady increase [of support] among most subgroups of the population, even those who have traditionally been the most resistant to gay marriage.”

Support for same-sex marriage reached a majority among adults aged 65 or older in 2016, protestants in 2017, and Republicans in 2021.

Weekly churchgoers remain the main outlier, with 58 per cent opposing same-sex marriage.

In contrast, as of 2004, Americans that almost never attend church are the predominant supporter of same-sex marriage.

As of 2022, 82 per cent of those who seldom/never attend church support gay marriage, while 70 per cent of monthly attendees are in support.

Overall, since 2011, the majority of Americans have backed same-sex marriage. It hit 60 per cent in 2015, just one month before the historic Obergefell V. Hodges decision by the Supreme Court that guaranteed the right to same-sex marriages.

“As Gallup’s trend on support for legal same-sex marriage inches ever upward, the question is when it will reach its ceiling,” the report said.

“Some observers of the Supreme Court’s leaked draft opinion related to Roe V Wade in May have questioned whether an overturning of Roe would clear a path for the conservative-leaning court to also overturn Obergefell.”

“If this were to happen, the court would be moving in opposition to a public opinion trend that has shown increasing support,” it continued.

On 2 May a leaked draft indicated that the Supreme Court plans to strike down Roe v Wade, the decision that made abortion a federal right. Many have warned that same-sex marriage could be next.

The poll is based on telephone interviews conducted every year to a random sample of 1,007 American adults, living in all 50 US states, as well as the District of Columbia. There is a 95 per cent confidence level in the report, with sampling errors at around ±4 percentage points.