This year, 64% of respondents said they support the legalization of same-sex marriages—the highest recorded level of support since Gallup began asking about same-sex marriage in 1977, when 43% voiced approval.
The Gallup poll, conducted between May 3–7, included 1,011 adults through phone surveys and asked the question, “Do you think marriage between same-sex couples should or should not be recognized by the law as valid, with the same rights as traditional marriages?”
While the issue of same-sex marriage has been more or less settled since the 2015 Supreme Court decision that struck down state laws obstructing same-sex couples from getting married, other LGBTQ rights have yet to be decided in a definitive way and state laws vary widely:
In several landmark cases around the country since the SCOTUS decision, that’s been the issue at hand: If same-sex marriage is legal, how can it be legal for states and counties to, for example, fire someone because they’re gay, or deny a lesbian couple equal adoption rights?
In one employment discrimination case, Hively v. Ivy Tech Community College, judges of the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals wrote last year that this tension creates “a paradoxical legal landscape in which a person can be married on Saturday and then fired on Monday for just that act.”
Monday’s poll is a reminder that there is solid, growing support for this one aspect of LGBTQ rights, but whether that indicates an increase in support for LGBTQ civil rights across the board remains to be seen.
The poll didn’t include questions about whether those same respondents think that LGBTQ people who are allowed to marry should also be allowed to adopt children and be protected from workplace, housing, and health care discrimination based on their gender identity or sexual orientation.
But the results of Monday’s poll is in step with American values’ broad shift leftward over time: 91% of those surveyed said they believe in birth control, 73% say divorce is acceptable, and 69% say sex outside marriage is acceptable.