American Foundation for Equal Rights

Third National Poll Shows a Majority of Americans Support the Freedom to Marry for Gay and Lesbian Couples

Washington Post-ABC News Poll Finds 53% of Americans Support the Freedom to Marry for Lesbian and Gay Couples; Findings Also Supported by Two National Polls from August 2010

Los Angeles, CA A new Washington Post-ABC News poll released today reveals yet again that a majority of Americans (53%) now favor marriage for gay and lesbian couples.

The poll is consistent with the results of several other recent surveys. Over the past eighteen months, a series of nationwide polls have recorded a steady shift in public opinion.

According to a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll taken in August 2010, 52% of Americans think that gay and lesbian couples have a constitutional right to marry and have their marriage recognized by law.  A poll by the Associated Press and National Constitution Center also conducted in August 2010 found the exact same results.

“The trend captured by today’s Washington Post-ABC News poll – and a variety of other surveys – is indisputable. The more Americans talk about this issue with one another, the more they come to embrace the idea that all citizens deserve equal rights, including the freedom to marry,” said Chad Griffin, AFER Board President. “As AFER has witnessed in its case to overturn Prop 8, people from all political persuasions and walks of life believe that adults in committed, loving relationships should be able to live their lives free from the government’s interference.   It is un-American to continue to deprive gay and lesbian couples of their fundamental constitutional right to marry.”

The American Foundation for Equal Rights and its legal team, led by Theodore B. Olson and David Boies, initiated its case seeking to overturn California’s ban on marriage for same-sex couples in May 2009. In August 2010, a U.S. District Court sided with AFER and ruled Proposition 8 unconstitutional. An appeal of that ruling has since been heard (December 2010) by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and a ruling is pending.

Last month AFER and its legal team filed a motion urging the Ninth Circuit to allow marriages for gay and lesbian couples to proceed while the U.S. District Court victory is appealed. In that filing, they argued that that the stay of the U.S. District Court’s decision has caused irreparable harm and oppressed tens of thousands of couples with “a scarring stigma that causes irreparable pain, anguish and humiliation.”