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In the debate over identity politics in the United States, a key point of contention is the extent to which American society remains homophobic and holds anti-gay beliefs. A new poll showing record support for gay marriage should shed light on this issue.
Released Monday, the Gallup survey finds that overall support for gay marriage among Americans matches the record level, previously measured in 2018, at 67 percent. However, it finds a whopping 49 percent of Republicans now support gay marriage, within the margin of error of a majority. The idea of near-majority support for gay marriage among Republicans would have been unthinkable in the US as recently as 2010, when only approximately 30 percent of Republican voters supported same-sex marriage rights.
The poll surveyed a random sample of 1,028 American adults across all 50 states and Washington, DC. The margin of error is 4 percent.
This new batch of polling adds to an increasingly rich body of data documenting the rise in support for LGBT rights among Republicans. An April poll by the Public Religion Research Institute found that 61 percent of Republicans support anti-discrimination protections for LGBT people in employment, housing, and public accommodations.
Most political analysts agree that gay marriage is increasingly a settled issue in the Republican Party. Republican US President Donald Trump made history as the first American president to enter office supportive of same-sex marriage rights. He has appointed high-level gay officials and judges, and the Trump administration also launched a diplomatic effort to decriminalize homosexuality internationally.
"Gay marriage is unlikely to reemerge as a major issue in US electoral politics," Gallup’s Justin McCarthy concluded. "No serious efforts by the Republican Party, who were once staunch opponents to legalizing gay marriage, have been made since the court's decision — even in recent years, under a Republican president."