As the Supreme Court prepares to weigh in on the so-called "Defense of Marriage" Act (DOMA) and the anti-gay Proposition 8, polls continue to show the widespread support for marriage equality in the United States. Most recently, a poll conducted by Goodwin Simon Strategic Research and Voter Consumer Research, and commissioned by the Center for American Progress and Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders (GLAD), found that 59 percent of registered voters are against Section 3 of DOMA, which denies equal protections to married same-sex couples. In addition, 52 percent of voters said they support marriage equality, and 62 percent said they believe withholding federal benefits from married same-sex couples is discrimination. The polling data is further broken down by voter ethnicity and by opinions on individual protections being denied to married same-sex couples.
Another poll conducted by the Respect for Marriage Coalition, which recently launched a $1 million ad campaign in support of marriage for same-sex couples, found that 75 percent of respondents believe marriage equality is a Constitutional right, an increase from 71 percent in 2011. 77 percent of respondents also said they believed marriage equality will be legal nationwide within the next couple of years.
It is important that journalists and others in the media remember these numbers when reporting on nationwide views toward marriage equality. Too often, anti-gay activists use out-dated or biased findings claiming that most Americans do not support marriage for same-sex couples, but this is clearly not true. Many polls have now reflected the growing support for marriage equality throughout the country, and this is especially significant given the impending Supreme Court hearing on a laws that ignore this steadfast opinion.