Nov. 9, 2012

Behind Gay Marriage Momentum, Regional Gaps Persist

Supporters of same-sex marriage won key victories in several states Tuesday, including the first instances in which laws allowing gays and lesbians to marry legally were approved by voters. This comes at a time when support for same-sex marriage has been on the rise. Across four Pew Research Center surveys this year, 48% of Americans […]

Jul. 31, 2012

Two-Thirds of Democrats Now Support Gay Marriage

May. 23, 2012

Changing Views of Gay Marriage: A Deeper Analysis

President Obama’s recent expression of support for same-sex marriage has highlighted long-term changes in opinion on the issue. In interviews with more than 5,000 adults conducted in 2011-2012, prior to Obama’s announcement, 46% favored gay marriage while 44% were opposed. (See detailed tables for a breakdown among subgroups by year). Four years ago, a majority […]

May. 14, 2012

Half Say View of Obama Not Affected by Gay Marriage Decision

Roughly half of Americans (52%) say Barack Obama’s expression of support for gay marriage did not affect their opinion of the president. A quarter (25%) say they feel less favorably toward Obama because of this while 19% feel more favorably. There are wide partisan and age differences in reactions to Obama’s expression of support […]

Apr. 25, 2012

More Support for Gun Rights, Gay Marriage than in 2008 or 2004

Opinions about a pair of contentious social issues, gun control and gay marriage, have changed substantially since previous presidential campaigns. On gun control, Americans have become more conservative; on gay marriage, they have become more liberal. Currently, 49% of Americans say it is more important to protect the rights of Americans to own guns, […]

Apr. 16, 2012

Gay Marriage: The Electorate Changes, and Politics Follow

Seems like just yesterday that opposition to gay marriage was the strategy of choice to rally and energize the conservative base. In the 2004 presidential election, analysts believed that proposed state constitutional amendments banning same-sex marriage increased the turnout of socially conservative voters in as many as 11 states, where the measures appeared on the […]

Feb. 14, 2012

Public Divided Over Birth Control Insurance Mandate

About six-in-ten Americans (62%) have heard about the proposed federal rule that would require employers, including most religiously affiliated institutions, to cover birth control as part of their health care benefits. Among those aware of the issue, opinion is closely divided over whether these institutions should be given an exemption to the rule if […]

Feb. 7, 2012

Growing Public Support for Same-Sex Marriage

UPDATED FEBRUARY 16, 2012, WITH MORE COMPLETE DATA. As courts and legislatures address the question of whether same-sex couples should be allowed to legally marry, public support for gay marriage continues to grow. Polls in 2011 by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press found that an average of 46% favor allowing […]

Nov. 3, 2011

Section 8: Domestic and Foreign Policy Views

Generations Divide on Some—Not All—Social Issues As discussed in Sections 1 and 4, different generations of Americans have starkly different views on some of the social changes occurring in the country today. That’s particularly the case when it comes to trends related to diversity, homosexuality, and secularism. While Millennials tend to take a more liberal […]

Nov. 3, 2011

Section 1: How Generations Have Changed

The age differences in political attitudes and voting choices in the past three election cycles have been driven by three broad social and political trends. The first is the growing racial and ethnic diversity of the country, reflected in the rising percentage of non-whites among younger age cohorts. Non-whites have been far more supportive of […]

May. 13, 2011

Most Say Homosexuality Should Be Accepted By Society

While the public is divided over same-sex marriage, a majority of Americans (58%) say that homosexuality should be accepted, rather than discouraged, by society. Among younger people in particular, there is broad support for societal acceptance of homosexuality. More than six-in-ten (63%) of those younger than 50 – 69% of those younger than 30 – […]

May. 4, 2011

Section 8: Domestic Issues and Social Policy

Across a range of social policy and domestic issues, the broader Republican and Democratic coalitions often find themselves at odds – and, at times, poles apart. But there are also notable divides within coalitions on issues such as abortion, marijuana, and energy. And while less common, consensus across groups also emerges on some questions of […]

Mar. 3, 2011

Section 3: Attitudes Toward Social Issues

Public support for gay marriage continues to edge upward. At the same time, support for legal abortion has rebounded, after declining in 2009. In contrast, there has been no movement in public attitudes toward gun control. The public remains evenly divided over whether it is more important to protect the right of Americans to own […]

Mar. 3, 2011

Fewer Are Angry at Government, But Discontent Remains High

The public remains deeply frustrated with the federal government, but fewer Americans say they are angry at government than did so last fall. Overall, the percentage saying they are angry with the federal government has fallen from 23% last September to 14% today, with much of the decline coming among Republicans and Tea Party […]

Oct. 6, 2010

Support For Same-Sex Marriage Edges Upward

Polls this year have found that more Americans favor allowing gays and lesbians to marry legally than did so just last year. In two polls conducted over the past few months, based on interviews with more than 6,000 adults, 42% favor same-sex marriage while 48% are opposed. In polls conducted in 2009, 37% favored […]

Sep. 17, 2010

Few Say Religion Shapes Immigration, Environment Views

Many Americans continue to say their religious beliefs have been highly influential in shaping their views about social issues, including abortion and same-sex marriage. But far fewer cite religion as a top influence on their opinions about several other social and political issues, including how the government should deal with immigration, the environment and […]

Oct. 9, 2009

Majority Continues to Support Civil Unions

A clear majority of Americans (57%) favors allowing gay and lesbian couples to enter into legal agreements with each other that would give them many of the same rights as married couples, a status commonly known as civil unions. This finding marks a slight uptick in support for civil unions and appears to continue […]

May. 21, 2009

Section 4: Religion and Social Values

The United States remains a highly religious nation. A large majority of Americans say they belong to a particular faith, and similarly large numbers express agreement with statements about key religious beliefs and behaviors. There have been only modest changes in the level of agreement with these statements over the past decade. About eight-in-ten (83%) […]

Aug. 21, 2008

Section 3: Issues and the 2008 Election

Top Issues for 2008 The economy continues to lead the list of issues voters say will be very important to their candidate choice this fall. Fully 87% of voters say the economy will be very important to their vote this fall, which is virtually unchanged since May (88%) but greater than the proportion of voters […]

Jun. 12, 2008

Gay Marriage Is Back On The Radar For Republicans, Evangelicals