In a new poll, Gallup registers a majority of Americans support gay marriage for the first time. The 53 percent to 45 percent support is the product of a sudden surge of support from Democrats and unaffiliated voters since 2010. Opposition has collapsed from 68 percent in 1996 to a low of 45 percent today. Support has doubled during the same 15 years.
A host of recent actions have influenced public opinion. President Barack Obama has offered gay rights high-profile support and signaled his opposition to gay marriage is soft. Congress, with support from the military brass, changed the rules of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” in 2010. Also, five states have legalized same-sex marriage with no apparent controversial consequences: Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Vermont.
Pew also reports a shift toward acceptance of homosexuality and gay marriage (45% favor to 46%, up from 35% favoring in 2009).