AUSTIN (KXAN) — Pollsters found support for same-sex marriages remains at an all-time high among Americans as a whole, but another recent survey tells a slightly different story about how Texans feel about these unions.
Gallup released its latest numbers Monday showing 71% of Americans said they believe same-sex marriages should remain legal in the U.S., which is a record that held steady from last year’s poll. Since the early 2010s, the polling organization noted public support for legally recognizing gay marriages has now exceeded 50%.
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 2015 by a narrow 5-4 vote that same-sex couples had the right to marry. Congress passed the bipartisan Respect for Marriage Act last year to protect some of the rights that came from that decision should it be overturned by the high court’s new conservative supermajority.
In its latest poll conducted between May 1-24, Gallup found majorities of all but two groups — Republicans (49%) and weekly churchgoers (41%) — said gay marriages should be legally recognized. The groups most in favor included people between 18 to 29 (89%), Democrats (84%) and less frequent churchgoers (83%).
These findings come as a number of states introduced and enacted new restrictions this year on the LGBTQ+ community, which led to the Human Rights Campaign issuing a national state of emergency Tuesday. A senior staffer at the advocacy organization told KXAN that Texas had a fifth of all the anti-LGBTQ bills introduced in the country. Just last week, Gov. Greg Abbott signed a bill into law that bans transgender minors from receiving puberty-blocking medications, hormone therapies or surgeries to aid in their transitions. Supporters of the legislation said it’s intended to protect children, while opponents argue such efforts will ultimately harm kids’ mental health and well-being.
Texas poll findings
The Texas Politics Project recently asked more than 1,000 registered voters whether they thought same-sex marriage should be legal. The poll conducted in April found an almost even split among Texans on the issue — 44% said, yes, it should be legal, while 42% said it should not. Meanwhile, 14% said they didn’t know or had no opinion on gay marriage legalization.
Breaking down the results by party affiliation, 68% of Texas Democrats said they supported same-sex marriage along with 44% of independent voters and 23% of Republicans. However, a majority of GOP voters in Texas (62%) said they opposed it, as did 30% of independents and 22% of Democrats.
Coming up later this month, the Travis County clerk announced she and her office will have a special event to mark the eighth anniversary of the Supreme Court’s decision in the Obergefell v. Hodges case, which legalized same-sex marriage across the country.
The office will hold a Marriage Equality Day Celebration on June 26, the day on which the ruling was announced in 2015. Couples who have their marriage license in time can claim a spot to hold a marriage ceremony at the clerk’s office. Light refreshments and a backdrop are promised, according to the Travis County clerk’s website.