Though religious groups continue to attack LGBT rights from all angles, a new survey shows that theirs is a losing battle. A Gallup poll which has been asking Americans about gay marriage and relations since the 1970s noted that approval for both have reached a new high.
On a basic level, more than 7 in 10 Americans now believe that same-sex relations should be legal. That number has risen 4 percent since gay marriage was made constitutional. Of course, this number also reflects a dark fact as well: that nearly one in three feel homosexuality should be made illegal. Fortunately, this number is far, far, smaller than what it once was – and it continues to shrink each year.
As for gay marriage, an issue that continues to be divisive, three percent more surveyed reported supporting it in 2017 than in 2016 – 64 percent to 61 percent.
Even more stunning is that just under half of self-identifying Republicans also agree with marriage equality, with 47 percent of Republicans saying they are in favor of the law recognizing gay marriages. As marriage equality and the traditional family continues to be a Republican talking-point, as support for traditional families fall, GOP leaders have slowly phased it out of their political talking-points.
In terms of religion, religious groups continue to increase their support for gay marriage, with non-Catholic Christians supporting gay marriage at more than twice the rate they did in 1996. This marks the first time that a majority of Protestands supported gay marriage.
Now that marriage equality has been the standard fare for close to two years, these numbers continue to rise on all accounts. The leap between 2015 and 2016 was more significant in many ways, but a slow, steady upward climb in social opinion is a net good for all.
National support for marriage and LGBT rights is vital under the current administration which continually seeks to roll back rights for LGBT people, particularly transgender Americans. If public support is behind these marginalized communities, there is a smaller change of a federal backslide.
On a basic level, seeing these numbers continue on a dependable, slow upward arc is a reminder that progress happens slowly, deliberately, and reliably. While we fight to retain so many other victories won in years past, the acceptance of LGBT Americans is a success story we can cling to.