A new Gallup poll released today finds that a majority of Americans favour legalizing gay marriage for the first time since Gallup started tracking the issue.
The poll found that 53% of those surveyed think same-sex marriage “should be recognised by the law as valid, with the same rights as traditional marriage,” while 45% said they did not.
The results are nearly reversed from last year’s Gallup poll, which found 53% of Americans opposed legalizing same-sex marriage, while 44% supported it.
Here’s Gallup’s chart tracking opinions on the issue. As you can see, this year represents a significant increase in support.
[credit provider=”Courtesy of Gallup”]
It is not clear what factors have contributed to the uptick. Gallup did find that support for gay marriage still falls largely along partisan lines.
This year’s survey found that 69% of Democrats support gay marriage, up 13% from the 2010 poll. Support among independent voters grew by 10% from last year to 59%. The number of Republicans that support gay marriage remained unchanged from last year. As in 2010, this year’s poll found 28% support among Republican voters.
Politico notes that Friday’s Gallup survey is third national poll this year that shows the majority of Americans are now in favour of legalizing gay marriage. In April, a CNN poll found 51% of Americans support same-sex marriage, and a March Washington Post/ABC News poll found 52% of Americans are in favour of it.