Republican Support for Same-Sex Marriage Drops to 5-Year Low

Support for same-sex marriage is on the decline among Republicans, while still trending high among the rest of the nation, according to a new survey. Gallup’s polling for May revealed that a majority (69%) of Americans support legalized same-sex marriage, but that support among Republicans has dropped sharply over the past two years. In 2021 and 2022, 55% of Republicans approved of legalized same-sex marriage, but that number fell to 49% in 2023 and has fallen even lower to 46% as of last month. Support for same-sex marriage is still high among Democrats (83%) and Independent voters (74%).

Meanwhile, the share of Republicans who see same-sex relations as “morally acceptable” has plummeted even further, from 56% in 2022 to a mere 40% as of last month. Over 80% of Democrats and nearly 70% of Independents reported that they view same-sex relations as “morally acceptable.” Between 2012 and 2022, Republicans’ support for same-sex marriage increased fairly steadily, rising from 22% and peaking at 55% in 2021 and 2022. However, Republicans’ endorsement of same-sex relations as “morally acceptable” did not cross the majority threshold until 2020. It fell from its 2022 peak to a low unrivaled since 2014.

As Gallup noted, barely a quarter (27%) of Americans supported legalized same-sex marriage when the organization began surveying the question in 1996, while over two-thirds (68%) of Americans opposed same-sex marriage. In 2011, support finally broke above 50% and, just a few years later, the U.S. Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage in the Obergefell v. Hodges decision. Since 2016, general support has remained consistently above 60%, although 2024’s 69% represents a two-point drop even just since last year.

“There are a couple of important factors involved with the decline of GOP support for gay marriage. First, Americans broadly embrace the concept of American liberty, and they will usually push back whenever their freedoms are threatened,” said former congressman and Family Research Council Senior Vice President Jody Hice, in comments to The Washington Stand. Hice noted that the LGBT agenda has become increasingly militant, insinuating itself into classrooms, hospitals, and all over. He explained, “Instead of endearing people to the LGBT movement, this strategy has had the opposite effect. … This type of activity has resulted in many who now view the LGBT community as being harmful to existing families rather than a personal preference unto themselves.”

“Another reason for the decline of support is more deeply rooted and even more problematic for the Left. It is founded within the principles of a worldview, specifically a biblical worldview,” Hice stated. “Just as ‘freedom’ is cherished by many, even more so, deeply held religious beliefs will not be compromised by those who possess them.”

Joseph Backholm, FRC’s senior fellow for Biblical Worldview, also weighed in on that point. “Obviously the trend in recent decades has been in the wrong direction on this issue, but a correction is inevitable for a couple reasons. The whole premise of same-sex marriage is that there is no difference between men and women,” Backholm explained. “Most of the people didn’t quite see it this way, but since then we’ve seen how the logic of genderlessness is playing out in the rest of culture. At least a few are probably recognizing that the world is not better.”

“In addition to that, same-sex marriage was sold to the public as the tolerant choice, but what we’ve seen since then is that the political movement that brought us same-sex marriage is anything but tolerant,” Backholm continued. “It has brought us lawsuits against churches and small businesses, pronoun laws, cancel culture, and general intolerance of those who still claim children should have both a mother and father or deny men can get pregnant. Everything about the campaign for same-sex marriage was a lie and every day since has, in its own way, helped make that clear for anyone interested in seeing it.”

“This may or may not be the beginning of a long-term correction on how the public sees this issue, but it is inevitable,” he concluded. “Since there will always be a meaningful difference between men and women, the only possible, long-term outcome is lamenting the time in our lives we pretended there wasn’t.”


S.A. McCarthy

S.A. McCarthy serves as a news writer at The Washington Stand.

EDITORS NOTE: This Washington Stand column is republished with permission. All rights reserved. ©2024 Family Research Council.

The Washington Stand is Family Research Council’s outlet for news and commentary from a biblical worldview. The Washington Stand is based in Washington, D.C. and is published by FRC, whose mission is to advance faith, family, and freedom in public policy and the culture from a biblical worldview. We invite you to stand with us by partnering with FRC.

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