Speed Reads


Majority of Americans back same-sex marriage, say it's inevitable nationwide

Next week, the Supreme Court is hearing oral arguments in a high-profile case that could potentially recognize a constitutional right to same-sex marriage. A USA Today/Suffolk University poll released Sunday found that a bare majority Americans, 51 percent, want the justices to go for it, agreeing that gay marriage is legal in so many states (36 plus Washington, D.C.) that same-sex marriage bans are longer practical to have in the U.S.; 35 percent disagree.

Perhaps not coincidentally, the poll also found that, by a 51 percent to 35 percent margin, respondents supported gay-marriage rights, and 46 percent said they have a gay or lesbian family member or a close friend married to someone of the same sex.

The poll also looked at "religious freedom" laws like those passed recently in Indiana and Arkansas: 64 percent said they are concerned that such a law would discriminate against gays and lesbians; 63 percent were concerned that a law making businesses cater to gay weddings could make business owners go against their religious beliefs or pay a penalty. The poll, conducted April 8-13, has a margin of error of ±3 percentage points.