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Majority of Americans continue to support same-sex marriage - CBS News poll

By Sarah Dutton, Jennifer De Pinto, Fred Backus and Anthony Salvanto

As they have for more than three years, a majority of Americans say it should be legal for same-sex couples to marry. A year after the Supreme Court ruled that the U.S. Constitution guarantees the right to same-sex marriage, 58 percent of Americans support the legalization of same-sex marriage, while 33 percent are opposed. As recently as July 2012, the public was divided on the issue, with 46 percent favoring and 44 percent opposed.

Support for same-sex marriage cuts across many demographic groups. Majorities of men (56 percent) and women (60 percent), and most whites (59 percent) and African Americans (55 percent) favor it.

Americans in nearly every age group think same-sex marriage should be legal, except for those ages 65 and over who are split on the issue. Americans under age 30 are especially supportive of same-sex marriage (77 percent).

Regionally, six in 10 Americans in the Northeast, Midwest and West think same-sex marriage should be legal. There is more division in the South, but more support same-sex marriage (50 percent) than not (43 percent).

Looking at partisanship and ideology, self-identified Republicans and conservatives continue to say same-sex marriage should not be legal. On the other hand, Democrats (72 percent) and liberals (80 percent) favor same-sex marriage in high percentages. In addition, 59 percent of independents and 63 percent of moderates also think same-sex marriage should be legal.

Most Americans who are evangelical or born-again Christians remain opposed to same-sex marriage. Fifty-four percent think it should not be legal, while just over a third say it should be.


This poll was conducted by telephone June 9-13, 2016 among a random sample of 1,280 adults nationwide. Data collection was conducted on behalf of CBS News by SSRS of Media, PA. Phone numbers were dialed from samples of both standard land-line and cell phones.

The poll employed a random digit dial methodology. For the landline sample, a respondent was randomly selected from all adults in the household. For the cell sample, interviews were conducted with the person who answered the phone.

Interviews were conducted in English and Spanish using live interviewers.

The data have been weighted to reflect U.S. Census figures on demographic variables.

The error due to sampling for results based on the entire sample could be plus or minus three percentage points. The error for subgroups may be higher and is available by request. The margin of error includes the effects of standard weighting procedures which enlarge sampling error slightly.

This poll release conforms to the Standards of Disclosure of the National Council on Public Polls.


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