For the third time in the past year, more than 50 percent of Americans say they support same-sex marriage, a new Gallup poll released Monday states.
The figure shows a remarkable shift in public attitudes over the past two decades. In 1996, just 27 percent of Americans said they supported same-sex marriage. Even just three years ago, the figure was only 44 percent, the survey shows.
But the last three polls — in May 2011, November 2011 and Monday’s release — have put the number at 53 percent, an all-time high.
The change has largely been driven by young people. Monday’s survey shows that 70 percent of 18- to 29-year-olds support same-sex marriage. In 1996, it was just 41 percent, and in 2010, only 52 percent.
Support among other age groups also has increased, but by much less.
A dozen states now allow same-sex couples to marry, with Rhode Island and Delaware recently joining those ranks. Minnesota appears poised to become the 13th