In a surprising new poll by Pew Research, public support for same-sex marriage continues to grow — even among Republicans. Their findings showed that young Republicans, in fact, supported it by an actual majority. Although Republicans over the age of 50 still oppose it with only 27% in favor, an incredible 61% of Republicans under the age of 30 are in support.
The study findings are impressive considering that overall public favor rests at 54% currently, an overall majority that has continued to grow over the past several years. About 69% of Democrats of all ages support gay and lesbian marriage, while Republicans lag behind at 39% approval — on few other issues are the parties quite so split. Both young and old Democrats favor same-sex marriage by a margin of at least two-to-one.
The views of young Republicans on this matter seem to reflect the overall rapidly changing social landscape. Gay marriage has pushed itself to the forefront of national dialogue as an issue of inherent human rights, and consequently, forbidding people in love to marry has become out of style with everyone from celebrities to even some religious officials.
Many have also become attune to the fact that, not only does a lack of marriage fail to keep gay couples apart, but it also keeps money out of state coffers. Approximately 7,000 couples will walk down the aisle in the U.S. on any given day, and each pair will spend an average of $29,000 — money that goes toward not only taxes, but supports many local businesses as well. Many business owners and legislatures saw the business that gay marriage brought to legalized-marriage states like California, New York and Maine and started seeing it as not just a case of civil rights, but also one of financial opportunity.
The Pew study also found that young Republicans were correspondingly more accepting of overall LGBT issues — only 18% would definitivey agree that lesbian and gay parents would be a bad thing for American society. Multiple studies have confirmed that gay parenting is as successful in raising healthy, well-adjusted children as heterosexual parenting. A 2010 research paper by Stanford University notes that, “Children of same-sex couples are as likely to make normal progress through school as the children of most other family structures… the advantage of heterosexual married couples is mostly due to their higher socioeconomic status.”