Survey: Most Americans say legal gay marriage ‘inevitable’

June 25th, 2013 | by Barrett Newkirk | Comments

Regardless of the decision that comes down from the Supreme Court on Wednesday, the majority of American — both those for and against same-sex marriage, see the legal recognition of gay marriage as an “inevitable” outcome.

Survey results from the Pew Research Center released this month showed 72 percent of Americans believe gay couples will eventually be able to marry. Among gay marriage supporters, 85 percent saw it as inevitable, compared to 59 percent of opponents.

The nine Supreme Court justices will almost certainly release their long-awaited ruling Wednesday on California’s Proposition 8, which banned gay marriage in the state. One political scientist I spoke with earlier today was hesitant to predict the outcome, but he said he expects a “narrow” ruling, meaning the Supreme Court likely won’t make gay marriage legal in all 50 states in one fell swoop. That sets up a likely future court challenge to the discrepancy in gay marriage laws among the states.

The state-by-state advance in gay-marriage rights in recent years coincides with shifting public attitudes toward gays and lesbians. The Pew Center reported that 60 percent of Americans now believe homosexuality should be accepted by society, compared to 47 percent in 2003.

Have your personal feelings about gay rights and same-sex marriage changed? Are you against gay marriage but see their legal recognition as an inevitable outcome of shifting attitudes? Leave a comment or contact reporter Barrett Newkirk at (760)778-4767 or

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