Aug 22, 2010 5:06 AM GMT
Over Time, a Gay Marriage Groundswell
According to our research, as recently as 2004, same-sex marriage did not have majority support in any state. By 2008, three states had crossed the 50 percent line.
Today, 17 states are over that line (more if you consider the CNN estimate correct that just over 50 percent of the country supports gay marriage).
In 2008, the year Proposition 8 was approved, just under half of Californians supported same-sex marriage,. Today, according to polls, more than half do. A similar shift has occurred in Maine, where same-sex marriage legislation was repealed by ballot measure in 2009.
In both New York and New Jersey, where state legislatures in the past have defeated proposals to allow same-sex marriage, a majority now support it.
And support for same-sex marriage has increased in all states, even in relatively conservative places like Wyoming and Kentucky. Only Utah is still below where national support stood in 1996.
Among the five states that currently allow same-sex marriage, Iowa is the outlier. It is the only one of those states where support falls below half, at 44 percent.
This trend will continue. Nationally, a majority of people under age 30 support same-sex marriage. And this is not because of overwhelming majorities found in more liberal states that skew the national picture: our research shows that a majority of young people in almost every state support it. As new voters come of age, and as their older counterparts exit the voting pool, it’s likely that support will increase, pushing more states over the halfway mark.