A record number of Americans now support the legalization of gay marriage, a new poll finds, but even more think it’s “inevitable.”
According to the Pew Research Center, a record 57% of Americans believe same-sex marriage should be legal, while 39% think it shouldn’t. The numbers are widely divided by political affiliation: 65% of Democrats favor legalization, compared to 34% of Republicans.
Despite that difference, the survey notes, 72% of both parties agree it will eventually happen. That percentage is largely unchanged from 2013, but is way up from a Los Angeles Times survey in 2004 that put the figure at 59%. While support has increased from 49% to 59% among white people in the last three years, African-American support has remained low, at 41%, up from 40% in 2012.
Same-sex marriage is currently legal in 36 states and the District of Columbia. The Supreme Court is expected to rule this month on states’ recognition of gay marriage licenses.