Marriage Equality: Have We Reached the Tipping Point?

Back in late March, I flagged recent results suggesting that we could be reaching the point where majority support for marriage equality solidifies. In particular, I noted a Washington Post/ABC News poll result where 53 percent said it should be legal for gay and lesbian couples to get married compared to 44 percent who thought it should be illegal. This was the first time the poll found majority support for marriage equality since it started asking the question in 2003.

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Since then, two other major public polls have found that a majority of Americans support full marriage equality for same-sex couples. In an April CNN poll, 51 percent thought marriages between same-sex couples should be recognized by law with the same rights as marriages between a man and a woman.

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And in a May Gallup poll that used almost the same question wording, 53 percent endorsed legalizing marriage for same-sex couples.

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These consistent results suggest we have reached the tipping point on this issue. We are likely to see not only continued majorities but larger majorities in support of marriage equality for same-sex couples as more and more Americans come to this position as fair and reasonable—and see opposition as both futile and mean-spirited. It’s time for conservatives to acknowledge the inevitable: They have lost and tolerance has won. That’s bad for them but great for the country.

Ruy Teixeira is a Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress. To learn more about his public opinion analysis go to the Media and Progressive Values page and the Progressive Studies program page of our website.