71% of Americans Support Legal Same-Sex Marriage, an All-Time High

Gallup’s annual Values and Beliefs poll conducted in May shows increasing support for same-sex marriage among Americans.

“Do you think marriages between same-sex couples should or should not be recognized by the law as valid, with the same rights as traditional marriages?” – that is the question asked annually in May by Gallup researchers. And each year, more and more Americans say “yes” to same-sex marriage: in 2022 71% of Americans contacted for the poll showed support for same-sex marriage.

When Gallup first polled about same-sex marriage in 1996, barely a quarter of the public (27%) supported legalizing such unions. It would take another 15 years, until 2011, for support to reach the majority level. Then in 2015, just one month before the U.S. Supreme Court’s Obergefell v. Hodges decision, public support for legalizing gay marriage cracked the 60% level, and last year it reached the 70% mark for the first time.

Rising national support for legal same-sex marriage reflects steady increases among most subgroups of the population, even those who have traditionally been the most resistant to gay marriage. Adults aged 65 and older, for example, became mostly supportive in 2016 — as did Protestants in 2017 and Republicans in 2021.

Weekly churchgoers, however, have yet to reach a majority level of support in the trend. The current 40% among this group who support same-sex marriage is within the 39% to 44% range Gallup has recorded since 2016.

While support has typically increased by small percentages on an annual basis — often within the margin of error — cumulatively, the increases have produced a transformation in U.S. attitudes on an issue Americans once vehemently opposed.