Gay Marriage Support at Historic High, Says Gallup Poll

John Sullivan (L) and Chris McCary, both from Anniston, Alabama, walk away from the Provincetown, Massachusetts Town Hall with their marriage license May 17, 2004. They were the first in line to file for a license and were married later in the day. In November 2003 the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruled that Massachusetts must allow same-sex couples to marry beginning May 17, 2004. | (Photo: Reuters/Brian Snyder)

Support for same-sex marriage in the United States is at a historic high, according to recently released results from a Gallup poll.

Gallup found that 60 percent of respondents believed that marriages between same-sex couples should be legally recognized, with 37 percent opposed.

"This is up from 55 percent last year and is the highest Gallup has found on the question since it was first asked in 1996," wrote Justin McCarthy of Gallup.

"The 5 percentage point increase in this year's Values and Beliefs poll, conducted May 6-10, is the largest year-to-year climb since 2011, when support rose by nine points."

Paul Batura, vice president of communications for Focus on the Family, an organization that opposes gay marriage, told The Christian Post that there is "no disputing that public acceptance of same-sex "marriage" has increased in recent years."

"Americans are deeply divided on the issue. However, when it comes to a poll, there's also no disputing the fact that it matters how you ask a question," said Batura.

"For example, a pollster can help influence a desired result by asking a question in a way that yields a positive or 'yes' response."

Batura of FOTF pointed to a WPA Opinion Research poll from February that found supporters of gay marriage to still be in the minority.

"A WPA Opinion Research poll in February found that 53 percent of respondents agreed with the following statement: 'I believe that marriage should be defined ONLY as a union between one man and on woman,'" continued Batura.

"Nevertheless, with support for same-sex 'marriage' rising in recent years, those of us who support a biblical definition of marriage must continue to grapple with this contentious issue with grace and respect."

The Gallup poll comes as the nation waits for the U.S. Supreme Court to rule on whether or not state level gay marriage bans are constitutional.

From 1998 to 2012, electoral majorities in 30 states approved amendments to their constitutions that defined marriage as being between only one man and one woman.

From 2003 to 2013, eight states and the District of Columbia legalized gay marriage via either judicial decision, legislative action, or popular referendum.

A wave of judicial decisions from 2013 onward struck down most of the state level bans until the Supreme Court agreed to hear arguments on whether all 50 states will be required to make gay marriage legal.

Last month, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments, with spectators uncertain as to how the ruling expected in June will come down.

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