Support for same-sex marriage hits a high point, even among those previously opposed to it

Source: Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP

Public support for marriage equality — the right of gays and lesbians to be legally wedded — has hit a new highpoint, according to a Pew Research Center study released Monday.

By a two-to-one margin, more Americans say they favor same-sex marriage than say they are opposed. Pew's national survey, conducted between June 8 and June 18 among 2,504 adults, found that 62% of Americans support marriage equality whereas 32% oppose it.

In 2010, Americans were much more narrowly split on the issue. Most had rejected the idea of allowing same-sex couples to marry by a margin of 48% opposed to 42% in favor. But in the last two years since the U.S. Supreme Court decision requiring states to recognize same-sex marriages nationwide, support has even grown among sections of the U.S. population who previously opposed it in large numbers.

A crowd celebrates outside of the Supreme Court in Washington on June 26, 2015, following the court's declaration that same-sex couples have the right to marry anywhere in the U.S.
Source: Jacquelyn Martin/AP

According to Pew, 56% of baby boomers now favor marriage equality, up from a nearly even divide on the issue in 2015, when 45% said they were in favor. Black Americans, who in past studies were less likely to support same-sex marriage compared to whites and Latinos, now favor it at 51% — a 12% increase since 2015's survey.

Pew's study shows support for marriage equality is also growing among Republicans, Republican-leaning independents and younger white evangelicals. But older white evangelicals have not budged in their overwhelming majority opposition to same-sex marriage.