Opposition to same-sex marriage is decreasing among the general population and is now generally confined to older people, white evangelical Christians and non-college-educated whites, according to a new study of election polls and other surveys conducted by two pollsters – a Democrat and a Republican.
Freedom to Marry, an organization that advocates for marriage equality, commissioned the study – a follow-up to a May 2011 report showing that support for same-sex marriage began accelerating in 2009.
In the most recent study, voters age 65 and older said they opposed same-sex marriage by a 21-point margin, with 37 percent supporting it and 58 percent opposing. But voters younger than 65 favored same-sex marriage by 52 percent to 44 percent.
White evangelical Christians opposed same-sex marriage by nearly 3 to 1. But followers of every other major American religion, including mainline Protestants, white Catholics, Hispanic Catholics, African American non-evangelicals and Jewish voters, expressed double-digit support for marriage equality.
White voters without college degrees also rejected marriage equality. Only 40 percent of them supported it, while 56 percent opposed it.
African-American voters who described themselves as evangelical or born again were narrowly divided. Forty-five percent said their state should recognize same-sex marriage and 47 percent said it should not.
Non-white college graduates were the strongest supporters – 58 percent to 35 percent. White college graduates supported marriage equality by 56 percent to 41 percent. And non-white, non-college graduates voiced support by 54 percent to 38 percent.