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Sorry Mike Pence, but support for same-sex marriage in the US is at a record high – even among Republicans

Lily Wakefield June 1, 2020
republicans same-sex marriage

A couple holds hands, draped in flags, as they celebrate the Supreme Court ruling on same-sex marriage on June 26, 2015 in West Hollywood, California. (David McNew/Getty)

Five years after Obergefell v Hodges, the case which legalised marriage equality across America, support for same-sex marriage has matched a previous record high.

Gallup’s annual Values and Beliefs poll was conducted between May 1 and 13, 2020, and showed that 67 per cent of Americans support recognising same-sex marriage as legally valid, matching the record high from 2018.

The global analytics and advice firm began collecting data on gay marriage approval in 1996, when just 27 percent backed it, meaning that average approval has jumped more than 40 percentage points in the last 24 years.

Democrats in the US have, in general, long been supporters of equal marriage, and this year 83 per cent were found to approve of people of the same gender being able to get married.

Republican support for same-sex marriage has stalled, but remains higher than ever.

Although Republicans have always been the least likely to support same-sex marriage, there was an upwards trend in approval between 1996 and 2017.

Since 2017 however, the year that Donald Trump and the notoriously anti-LGBT+ Mike Pence entered the White House, approval of same-sex marriage has stalled, ranging from 44 to 49 per cent this year.

A 2017 NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll found that support for same-sex marriage among Republicans who voted for Trump was even less than among Republicans in general.

The poll found that just 37 per cent of Trump voters supported equal marriage in 2017.

America gears up to celebrate five years of marriage equality.

2020 will mark the fifth anniversary of the Supreme Court ruling that cemented marriage equality in the US.

On June 26, 2015, the US Supreme Court ruled in the Obergefell v Hodges case that all US states must grant marriage licenses to same-sex couples, and recognise those acquired in other states.

A study last year examined the US Supreme Court ruling on Obergefell v. Hodges and the effect it had on people in same-sex relationships.

Researchers “found that psychological distress dropped, and life satisfaction increased after the U.S. Supreme Court ruling”. and that the positive effects of the ruling were “felt by individuals in same-sex relationships whether married or unmarried”.

More: Republicans, same sex marriage

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