Gallup: Gay Marriage Support at 44%-53% – Still Twice As Popular Today than Interracial Marriage Was When It Was Legalized in 1967

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The trend toward a national consensus in favor of gay marriage remains in play, a new Gallup survey finds — and while a slight majority of Americans remain opposed to gay marriage today, it is still more than twice as popular now than interracial marriage was when the Supreme Court legalized it in 1967.

In the first Gallup poll on interracial marriage taken after the Supreme Court’s 1967 ruling on Loving v. Virginia that states could no longer prevent interracial couples from marrying, just 20 percent of Americans favored mixed-race marriages. Seventy-two percent were opposed.

The latest Gallup poll on gay marriage finds a nine point gap between opponents and supporters:

Gallup’s latest findings indicate 53 percent of Americans do not believe same-sex marriage should be recognized as valid by law, while 44 percent believe it should. In 2009, 57 percent of Americans stated gay marriage should not be legal, while 40 percent said the opposite.

Opposition to gay marriage is now tied for the lowest level ever recorded by Gallup — in 2007, 53 percent of Americans also said gay marriage should not be legalized. As far as support, 2007 also was a good year for marriage equality, with 46 percent voicing approval. Since then, support for marriage equality dipped before picking up this year.

A series of polls on gay marriage from one year ago produced similar results. CNN found 54 percent opposed, 44 percent in support. New York Times/CBS found 42 percent in favor, the highest ever recorded by that survey. Quinnipiac found 55 percent opposed, 38 percent in favor.

When Gallup first polled on gay marriage, in 1996, 60 percent of Americans opposed it, and just 27 percent were in favor. After Gallup’s first post-Loving poll on interracial marriage, opposition dropped steadily in a series of polls over the next 28 years — in 1972, 1978 and 1983 — until 1991, when Gallup found that, for the first time, more people were in favor (47 percent) than opposed (42 percent) to mixed-race marriages.

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