Americans opposed to gay marriage dwindle - survey

CHICAGO Thu Sep 29, 2011 3:11am IST

Phyllis Sifel (R) embraces her wife Connie Kopelov after being married at the marriage bureau in lower Manhattan, July 24, 2011. REUTERS/Allison Joyce/Files

Phyllis Sifel (R) embraces her wife Connie Kopelov after being married at the marriage bureau in lower Manhattan, July 24, 2011.

Credit: Reuters/Allison Joyce/Files

Related Topics

CHICAGO (Reuters) - Nearly half of Americans support same-sex marriage and the proportion who are accepting of homosexuality is increasing, University of Chicago researchers said on Wednesday.

The results show a clear "trend toward greater tolerance regarding homosexuality," said Tom Smith of the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago.

The Center's General Social Survey showed that support for same-sex marriage rose from 11 percent of Americans in 1988 to 46 percent approving of it in 2010. For the first time supporters outnumbered the 40 percent who were opposed.

Six states and the District of Columbia allow same-sex marriage. Thirty-nine states specifically ban it.

Younger American adults surveyed were much more accepting of same-sex marriage than older Americans, illustrated by support among 64 percent of those under 30 compared to 27 percent among those older than 70.

The survey, which has been taken every other year for 40 years, found 86 percent supported a gay person's right to speak before a public audience, 24 points higher than in 1972. Also, 84 percent supported allowing gays to teach at colleges or universities, up from 48 percent in 1973.

The change in acceptance of homosexuality began in the late 1980s, the researchers said. In 1987, 75 percent felt same-sex relations were "always wrong," but that number fell to 43.5 percent in 2010.

The U.S. Census Bureau on Tuesday estimated the number of same-sex married couple households in the United States at 131,279.

(Reporting by Andrew Stern; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)

FILED UNDER:
Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

  • Most Popular
  • Most Shared

Pro-Democracy Protests

REUTERS SHOWCASE

Ebola in U.S.

Ebola in U.S.

Dallas Ebola patient vomited outside apartment on way to hospital  Full Article 

Fighting Islamic State

Fighting Islamic State

Turkey vows to fight Islamic State, coalition strikes near border.  Full Article 

'Ground Zero'

'Ground Zero'

Concerns, questions as Dallas becomes 'ground zero' for Ebola in U.S.  Full Article 

Security Lapse

Security Lapse

U.S. Secret Service director resigns under fire  Full Article 

Road Offences

Road Offences

France's Le Pen loses driving licence, but says not her fault.  Full Article 

Nuclear Deal

Nuclear Deal

Israel's Netanyahu to Obama: Don't allow Iran deal that leaves it at nuclear threshold.  Full Article 

Germany Politics

Germany Politics

German defence crisis puts potential Merkel successor in hot seat .  Full Article 

Peace Conference

Peace Conference

Nobel Laureates condemn South Africa visa denial to Dalai Lama.  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device.  Full Coverage