Yesterday, Freedom to Marry released an analysis of polling data written by Jan van Lohuizen and Joel Benenson, top campaign pollsters for Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama, respectively, about the sea change in public opinion on the issue of marriage equality.
The results show a steady increase in popular support for same-sex couples’ freedom to marry between 1996 and 2008 followed by a dramatic surge over the past two years. Support for ending marriage discrimination grew among all groups analyzed, even older Americans and Republicans. Much of the recent spike is due to the fact that marriage equality now has “solid majority support” among the ever-important block of independent voters.
The final sentence of the report brought a smile to this 26-year-old happily married blogger’s face: “…support strongly correlates with age. As Americans currently under the age of 40 make up a greater percentage of the electorate, their views will come to dominate.” However, as Bush pollster van Lohuizen pointed out, “The remarkable surge over the last two years can’t be explained by generational change alone. It suggests that people across the political spectrum are rethinking their positions—and deciding in favor of the freedom to marry.”
The astonishingly rapid acceleration of popular support for marriage equality revealed in yesterday’s report further proves what many in the LGBT movement, including TWO’s Wayne Besen, have been saying for more than a year now: we have passed the cultural tipping point on LGBT rights. The upcoming battles will undoubtedly be severe, but with public opinion, demographics, and the arc of history now firmly on our side, we know that they are battles we will ultimately win.
Now if only reluctant politicians of all stripes would just hurry up and evolve already…