Support for same-sex marriage dips for the first time in nearly a decade: Survey

Americans’ support for same-sex marriage has dropped for the first time in about a decade, according to new data from the Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI).

The data from PRRI’s American Values Atlas (AVA) survey found support for same-sex marriage dropped two points, from 69 percent to 67 percent, from 2022 to 2023. The last time Americans support form same-sex marriage dropped in the same survey was between 2014 and 2015, from 54 to 53 percent.

The survey also showed support for non-discrimination protections for LGBTQ people falling for the first time since 2018. Americans’ support for those protections reached a peak of 80 percent in 2022, but fell to 76 percent last year.

“Our survey shows that support for LGBTQ rights has dipped slightly from 2022 to 2023, although the vast majority of Americans continue to endorse anti-discrimination protections for LGBTQ Americans and the rights of same-sex couples to marry,” Melissa Deckman, the CEO of PRRI, said in a statement in a press release Tuesday.

“The growing partisan divide on these issues show the effect of the continuous use of LGBTQ identity and LGBTQ rights as a wedge issue in our nation’s culture wars,” Deckman continued.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) said in January that state legislatures had already introduced over 275 bills aimed at LGBTQ rights, marking a rise in focus on LGBTQ rights by conservative legislatures. The legislation took aim at issues including gender-affirming care for young people and adults, the ability of students to choose their gender in schools, transgender student athletes and restrictions on LGBTQ speech.

“Transgender people across the country are enduring a historic and dangerous effort to control our bodies and our lives, fueled by extremist politics with the goal of erasing us from public life,” ACLU attorney Harper Seldin said at the time.

The American Values Atlas survey was conducted by PRRI between March 9 and Dec. 7, 2023, featuring a sample of 22,465 adults. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 0.82 percentage points at the 95 percent level of confidence, featuring a design effect for the survey of 1.56.

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