LOS ANGELES Every state has seen increases in support for same-sex marriage over the last eight years, according to new analysis by Williams Institute Public Opinion Project Director, Andrew Flores; and Williams Senior Scholar of Public Policy, Scott Barclay.
"Public Support for Marriage for Same-sex Couples by State," examines public support for same-sex marriage, by state, and reveals the current position of each state's general population on the legality of same-sex marriage, how public opinion differs across the fifty states and the District of Columbia, and the change in public opinion since 2004.
Main findings from the report include:
-By the end of 2012, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Hawaii, Maine, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington, and the District of Columbia had support for same-sex marriage at or above 50 percent.
-Of these 12 states, all currently perform marriages, civil unions, or domestic partnerships for same-sex couples.
Alaska, Arizona, Delaware, Illinois, Iowa, Maryland, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, and South Dakota are currently within five percentage points of majority support.
-In the last eight years, every state has increased in its support for marriage for same-sex couples with an average increase of 13.6 percent.
-If present public opinion trends continue, another eight states will be above 50 percent support by the end of 2014.
Recently, support for same-sex marriage has increased at a rapid pace. Since 2009, legislative majorities in six states Maine, Maryland, New York, New Hampshire, Vermont and Washington have passed laws introducing same-sex marriage and, over that same time period, legislatures in five additional states Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Nevada, and Rhode Island introduced civil unions or domestic partnerships for same-sex couples.
However, despite increasing levels of support for same-sex marriage across the country, a notable disparity still exists across state boundaries. Research revealed a 31 percent difference between the lowest level of support found in a state and the highest. These marked differences have important consequences for predicting the outcome of future legislative activities and statewide initiatives around the issue.
For the full study, please visit williamsinstitute.law.ucla.edu/research/marriage-and-couples-rights/public-support-for-marriage-for-same-sex-couples-by-state/ .