The Diverging Trajectories of Same-Sex Marriage & Abortion

December 16, 2021

Chart showing the percentage of Americans who say same-sex marriages should be recognized by the law as valid and percentage who say abortion should be legal in all or most cases.

In 1996, Americans were far more supportive of legal abortion than allowing gay and lesbian couples to marry. Only 31 percent of Americans favored same-sex marriage in the mid-1990s while nearly six in 10 (57 percent) said abortion should be legal in at least some circumstances. Today, nearly seven in 10 (69 percent) Americans believe gay and lesbian people should be allowed to marry. Views of abortion have remained relatively unchanged—60 percent say abortion should be legal. The massive 38-point increase in public support for same-sex marriage was due to a variety of unique factors, including the widespread belief that it was inevitable.

Survey Reports

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