The poll, the full details of which will be released Monday night, found that 38 percent of respondents favored legal marriage, 24 percent supported civil unions but not marriage, and around one in three were opposed to any legal recognition. The Times' Dalia Sussman notes the dramatic shift in recent years. For instance, the number supporting legal marriage is "similar to recent surveys, but up significantly from just 2 in 10 who said so in 2004."
And, as always, the polling on this issue augurs well for the future:
Age plays an important role, with younger Americans more apt to support same-sex marriage than older Americans. Political partisanship is a factor as well. A majority of Democrats and about 4 in 10 independents back same-sex marriage, while Republicans are far more likely to say there should be no legal recognition of the relationships, the poll found.The many states that have taken anti-marriage votes in the last several election cycles have left the younger generations with a lot to undo, but we can look at the shift in public opinion since 2004 and the age divides now and see clearly that it is going to happen eventually, and that "eventually" is a lot shorter than any of us imagined back in 2004. And while equality would come faster if Republicans would let go of their bigotry, as a partisan I can't help but be pleased to see them once again taking such a firm stand on the wrong side of history. Unless the Republican party makes a dramatic shift—one they show few signs of making—this is an issue that will be bad for them for years.