Some 55 percent of Americans now say they support same-sex marriage, the highest number since Gallup polling on the question began in the 1990s, according to a new Gallup poll.
The finding comes on the heels of federal judges who this week struck down bans on same-sex marriage in Pennsylvania and Oregon.
Support has been climbing forgay marriages, growing from 40 percent to 53 percent between 2009 and 2011-2012, with the most recent numbers before showing 54 percent support in 2012. In 1996, the first time Gallup completed a same-sex-marriage survey, 68 percent were opposed. Then, in 2004, when Massachusetts became the first state to legalize same-sex marriage (10 years ago this month), support reached 42 percent.
Currently, same-sex marriage is legal in 17 U.S. states and the District of Columbia, though several states are in the midst of legal battles, appealing judges’ rulings overturning bans on same-sex marriage, according to Gallup.
In the South, where just 48 percent of Americans said gay marriage should be legal, all states have constitutional bans on such marriages; those bans are being challenged in Arkansas and Kentucky, according to Gallup. States in the West show the highest support (67 percent) for same-sex marriage in the United States.
Written By: Jeanna Bryner
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