Leading the charge for equality were survey respondents in the 18-35 year-old demographic. Some 70 percent of those surveyed said same-sex marriage should be legal. Older men and women (aged over 50) were far less favorable to gay marriage.
Gallup’s findings show those who identify as conservative and older Americans are still overwhelmingly opposed to marriage equality:
“The issue does, however, remain highly divisive. While big majorities of Democrats and young people support the idea of legalizing same-sex marriage, fewer than 4 in 10 Republicans and older Americans agree. Republicans in particular seem fixed in their opinions; there was no change at all in their support level this year, while independents’ and Democrats’ support jumped by double-digit margins.”
In its findings, Gallup suggests 2010 and 2011 have been landmark years for support of LGBT equality, not just marriage:
“Within the past year, Congress passed and President Obama signed a law allowing gay and lesbian members of the military to openly reveal their sexual orientation, rather than keeping it hidden as part of the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy. A majority of Americans have supported such a change in policy since 2005, rising to two-thirds support in 2009 and again last year. It is unclear whether the highly publicized official change in government policy on Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell may have been a factor in the rise in Americans’ support for legalizing same-sex marriage.”