There is good news for those of us who support same-sex marriage (as well as an indication in the remarkable turnaround in public attitude in a relatively short time). According to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll, 6 out of 10 Americans now support same-sex marriage and believe that states should not be allowed to define marriage as only between a man and a woman. That is a record showing for same-sex marriage.
The poll was clearly timed for oral arguments next week on whether state restrictions on same-sex marriage are unconstitutional. I believe that there is likely a fifth vote with Justice Anthony Kennedy to support a ruling in favor of same-sex marriage. Indeed, it will be interesting to watch Chief Justice John Roberts on this issue. Roberts has shown a strong institutional sensitivity and many be the most likely of the remaining justices to feel the pull of history on the issue.
Not surprisingly, the greatest gains have been seen in those under age 30 where support has grown since 2005 from 57 percent to 78 percent. However, even among the historically least supportive group (those 65 and over) support is now at 46 percent (from just 18 percent).
Republicans still oppose at a rate of 6 to 10, however. This creates an interesting dynamic for the Republican primary where some candidates have already shown movement toward greater acceptance. The trend appears in that direction. Moreover, GOP candidates face the classic dilemma of fighting to secure the nomination from the most conservative members of the party while being able to run nationally to appeal to independents and democrats. The social agenda of conservative Republicans has never appealed to as much to independents and libertarians in the general election.
Source: Washington Post