Washington – New polling data from the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press shows support for marriage equality at 47 percent – significantly higher than it was at any point prior to previous presidential elections. The poll also finds opposition to marriage equality has reached an all-time low. According to the polling, opposition to marriage equality has plummeted nearly 15 percentage points over the last decade, while support has climbed by more than 10 percentage points. The Pew data is just the latest in a number of polls illustrating how issues of LGBT equality are increasingly mainstream, and can no longer be used as divisive wedges.
The landscape surrounding support for LGBT issues has changed significantly since the 2008 presidential election. In previous elections, particularly in 2004, marriage equality was used as a wedge issue to divide voters. This growing wave of data shows that such a strategy will no longer work. A 2011 Gallup poll found that support for marriage equality stood at an all-time high of 53 percent. A Washington Post/ABC News poll also clocked support at 53 percent – up 17 percentage points from just five years prior. A 2010 Associated Press poll found support at 52 percent. And, a Greenberg Quinlan Rosner poll recently found that an astounding 85 percent of people of faith say their religious beliefs lead them to the conclusion that LGBT people should be treated equally under the law.
“An increasing number of Americans support equality for LGBT people on a wide array of issues, from marriage equality to non-discrimination,” said HRC President Joe Solmonese. “These data reinforce the message we’re hearing over and over again as we approach the 2012 elections: being anti-LGBT is not a winning position for any candidate. As more and more Americans hear the personal stories of their LGBT family members and friends, they’re coming to the conclusion that we deserve the same rights, benefits, and protections that everyone else receives.”
This latest round of data comes one week after Pew released statistics highlighting marriage equality as the least important issue on the minds of voters in advance of the 2012 election, signaling how matters of LGBT equality are no longer as divisive as they once were. That Pew poll identified the economy, jobs, and the budget deficit as weighing most heavily on voters’ minds.
The Human Rights Campaign is America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality. By inspiring and engaging all Americans, HRC strives to end discrimination against LGBT citizens and realize a nation that achieves fundamental fairness and equality for all.