Survey Charts Dramatic Change Toward Marriage Equality


On Thursday, the Human Rights Campaign and Americans for Marriage Equality released the results of a bipartisan study of likely 2016 voters conducted by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research and TargetPoint Consulting. The study revealed that as support for marriage equality continues to grow, voters’ attitudes toward the LGBT community and the implications of marriage equality have also shifted. Key findings include:

  • As is the case with most public polling, support for marriage equality lands at a majority, but this survey probes much deeper, exploring which groups have evolved, voters’ assumptions around marriage equality, and what voters believe a country where marriage equality is legal would look like.
  • There has been a huge shift toward social equality, with favorability ratings for “gay and lesbian” people increasing and the number of people who know a gay or lesbian person reaching 75 percent. Even in football, the crucible of American culture, voters judge a player by his ability, not his orientation.
  • A 55 percent majority supports marriage equality. While young people are at the vanguard of change, this survey also shows increased support among older voters, Catholics, non-college educated voters, and Republicans.
  • Rather than uniform opposition, marriage equality now splits the right, with younger conservatives disagreeing with older conservatives.
  • Pro-marriage equality forces are winning the fight over kids, culture, and even faith, the issues that have traditionally inhibited support for marriage equality.
  • But the most important findings in this survey are some of the assumptions voters draw about what the country would look like if gay marriage were legal in 50 states. Nearly 8 in 10 voters believe there would be less discrimination, it would be easier to grow up gay, and same-sex families would have more protection. In other words, this is not just about legal definitions of marriage. This is about equality.

Click here to view a presentation of the survey’s findings.