Public Support For Same-Sex Marriage Surpasses Support For Interracial Marriage In 1991

While many suggest that marriage equality for same-sex couples is inevitable, public polling suggests that compared to the most similar issue, interracial marriage, the law is far behind public opinion.

The 1967 Supreme Court decision in Loving v. Virginia ended all restrictions on interracial marriage in the United States. But a Gallup poll a year later in 1968 showed that only 20 percent of Americans supported marriage between whites and black; 73 percent opposed:

Note that a plurality did not support interracial marriage until 1991, almost 25 years after Loving v. Virginia was decided, and it was another six years until there was an actual majority! (In Mississippi just one month ago, 46 percent of Republicans still oppose interracial marriage.)

Compare that to a Gallup poll released today that shows a majority of Americans (53 percent) support marriage equality for same-sex couples. It’s the first time a Gallup poll has shown a majority of support, but it echoes other recent polls with the same result from the Public Religion Research Institute (51 percent), Washington Post-ABC News (53 percent), and CNN/Opinion Research Corporation (51 percent):


All opponents of marriage equality who claim society is “not ready” for marriage equality need to brush up on their history. Support for LGBT equality is well beyond precedent for this important paradigm change.