Monday, April 1, 2013

Lucia Pew Forum Research on Changing Attitudes to same-sex marriage in the US

Pew Forum have recently released the results of their latest polling in America on attitudes to same-sex marriage. I've copied two of the charts from their website and posted them here to highlight a couple of points that I think are particularly interesting.

The first point, which can be seen on the chart below, is that support for same-sex marriage has been growing in the US since 2001 and opposition to same-sex marriage has likewise been decreasing in the same time period.  Except this year opposition has increased by 1%. Currently support for same-sex marriage is at 49% and opposition is 44%.

If you go to the Pew Forum website, you'll be able to move your mouse over any of the dots and the screen will tell you what the numbers are for the other years.

The second point is that most of the support is coming  from the younger generation 70% of Millennials are for same-sex marriage, ie those born in 1981 or later who are currently 32 years old or younger.  This is probably not a surprise to anyone, as is the fact that the least support comes from those born in 1945 or earlier, and the support increases as the age decreases.  However, what I find incredibly interesting is that my generation, Gen X (born 1965-1980) have seen support go all over the place and then end up at exactly the same point it started at in 2001.  In other words, 49% support in 2001 and 49% support today.  All other generational groupings have seen their support increase, though only the Millennials are still trending upwards this year - all others are trending down.

My prediction is that as the Millenials start to marry and have children of their own, which they unfortunately are doing even later in life than Gen X did, that their support for same-sex marriage will decrease as well.  There's nothing like wanting to create a better future for your children to radically change your views on many things, when you take the time to think about them.  It certainly happened to me.

Source: Same-sex Marriage Attitudes ~ Pew Forum
Related link: Age divide on gay marriage should really be an ignorance divide ~ New Zealand Conservative, December 2012

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