Support for LGBTQ rights rose across the board in the Public Religion Research Institute's annual American Values Atlas survey, released Tuesday, including a sizable jump in the share of Americans who support allowing gay and lesbian couples to legally marry. After hovering in the low 60s for the past three years, support for same-sex marriage rose to 67 percent in 2020, PRRI found, and for the first time in its survey, a slim 51 percent majority of Republicans supported gay marriage.
In PRRI's 2007 survey, for context, only 36 percent of Americans supported same-sex marriage. Now, it has the support of 72 percent of independents, 76 percent of Democrats, and majorities of most religious groups — 75 percent of white Catholics, 72 percent of white mainline protestants, 71 percent of Hispanic Catholics, 57 percent of Black Protestants, and 76 percent of non-Christian religious Americans, plus 81 percent of religiously unaffiliated Americans.
The only group where support for same-sex marriage dropped below 50 percent was evangelical Protestants, regardless of race — 43 percent of white evangelicals, 41 percent of Hispanic evangelicals, and 49 percent of Black evangelicals backed gay marriage, the poll found.
PRRI's survey also found that 76 percent of Americans favor laws that protect LGBTQ Americans from discrimination in jobs, housing and public accommodation, and 61 percent oppose allowing small businesses to refuse products or services to gay or lesbian people if doing so violates their religious beliefs.
PRRI and SSRS interviewed 50,334 Americans via phone from Jan. 7 to Dec. 20, 2020, for the 2020 American Values Atlas. The margin of error for the total sample is ± 0.5 percentage points, and ± 1.1 points for subsamples.