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I don’t think this is any surprise, and it certainly sets the stage for a very interesting SCOTUS case coming up.

From ABC News, via Wash Post:

The poll shows that 58 percent of Americans now believe it should be legal for gay and lesbian couples to get married; 36 percent say it should be illegal. Public attitudes toward gay marriage are a mirror image of what they were a decade ago: in 2003, 37 percent favored gay nuptials, and 55 percent opposed them.

Not only that, gay marriage has made gains across all political affiliations.

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And yes, a majority of Republicans aren’t in favor of it…yet. But the trend is there. I doubt we’ve ever seen numbers below 60% for keeping it illegal. Anything in the 50%s is pretty astonishing.

So why the shift?

Acceptance about why people are gay is one reason…

There has been a related movement in public opinion about homosexuality. Fully 62 percent of Americans now say being gay is just the way some people are, not something people choose to be. About 20 years ago, fewer than half of the public said so.

In the current data, about three-quarters of those who do not see homosexuality as a choice support gay marriage, with most supporting it “strongly.” More than two-thirds of those who see it as a choice oppose gay marriage, with almost all intensely against it.

Also, what’s really shocking is it really isn’t a generational thing. Because when you look at 18-49 and 50-64…the number who want it to be legal are EXACTLY THE SAME AT 73%.

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Last, note how younger Republicans and Independents now favor it instead of opposing it. You’ll even see opinions in the evangelical community supporting gay marriage. So, if Republicans want to win elections in the future, there’s no way they can keep opposing this issue. They’ll look and sound like social dinosaurs.

More as it develops…

  • http://www.dividist.com/ mw

    Looks like Gavin Newsom was well ahead of the curve in 2004. It’s something he is (and should be) justifiably proud of, although many Dems blamed him for losing the the election for Kerry.

  • Tully

    For a decade I fought the fight at the state level to keep the DOMA out of the state constitution, because I could see this coming. We lost in an off-year referendum. Now anything short of a total overturn by SCOTUS will lead to at least a decade’s fight for repeal.

    Ah, well. No one ever said doing the right thing would be easy. But shifting attitudes at least make it possible.