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

Gaza Conflict

REUTERS SHOWCASE

Special Report

Special Report

Inside Xi Jinping's purge of China's oil mandarins.  Full Article 

Ferry Tragedy

Ferry Tragedy

S.Korea ferry businessman's cause of death impossible to decide - agency.  Full Article 

Food Scandal

Food Scandal

McDonald's takes chicken nuggets off menu in Hong Kong amid food scare.  Full Article 

Plane Crash

Plane Crash

Wreckage of Air Algerie plane carrying 116 people found in Mali.  Full Article 

Health Crisis

Health Crisis

Myanmar Muslims in remote Rakhine suffer worsening health crisis.  Full Article 

Afghan Election

Afghan Election

Afghan vote recount moves at snail's pace, rival sides far apart.  Full Article 

Iraq Government

Iraq Government

Iraq elects president as Ban urges unity to save nation.  Full Article 

MH17 Crash

MH17 Crash

Investigators find no evidence of MH17 black box tampering  Full Article 

Freedom at Last

Freedom at Last

Death row Christian woman flies out of Sudan, meets Pope.  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

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