The Respect for Marriage Act is pending in the U.S. Senate
New polling released by the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) — shows that about two-thirds (64%) of likely voters in 2022 battleground states — Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Michigan, North Carolina, New Hampshire, Nevada, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin — support a law “protecting the national right to same-sex marriage.” The polling results are consistent with numbers seen throughout this year indicating that a strong majority of the public is in favor of allowing LGBTQ people to marry those they love.
Majority support for marriage equality was also seen across subgroups in the polling, including among men (58%), women (69%) and Christians (55%).
“Marriage equality has been nothing but positive, both for the LGBTQ+ community and for our society as a whole — and that’s reflected in this polling,” said Joni Madison, Human Rights Campaign Interim President. “Same-sex marriage has been legal nationally since 2015, and in many states for years before that. The joy that has emanated from thousands of weddings of couples who were previously denied the right to marry has melted many hearts. And the supposed harms that opponents of marriage equality predicted simply have not come to pass. Despite this, in the aftermath of the Dobbs ruling, many couples fear for the future of marriage equality. That’s why it is more important than ever to pass the Respect for Marriage Act, and reflect the voice of the 71% of Americans nationwide who support marriage equality.”
The new poll showed no significant difference in support for marriage equality based on race and ethnicity. Its results are in line with previous polls conducted by other organizations this year, including a Gallup poll in June that showed that 71% of Americans support same-sex marriage, a new high-water mark.
Polling from PRRI shows that in 47 of 50 states, a majority of respondents support allowing gay and lesbian couples to marry legally:
State % Favor State % Favor State % Favor State % Favor Alabama 49% Indiana 65% Nebraska 58% South Carolina 50% Alaska 72% Iowa 72% Nevada 71% South Dakota 61% Arizona 69% Kansas 58% New Hampshire 76% Tennessee 54% Arkansas 47% Kentucky 58% New Jersey 76% Texas 62% California 71% Louisiana 52% New Mexico 68% Utah 56% Colorado 77% Maine 75% New York 73% Vermont 77% Connecticut 77% Maryland 75% North Carolina 66% Virginia 71% Delaware 66% Massachusetts 85% North Dakota 69% Washington 82% Florida 68% Michigan 70% Ohio 69% West Virginia 56% Georgia 60% Minnesota 82% Oklahoma 64% Wisconsin 73% Hawaii 69% Mississippi 44% Oregon 73% Wyoming 58% Idaho 62% Missouri 65% Pennsylvania 69% Illinois 74% Montana 62% Rhode Island 82%
A Renewed Effort to Protect Marriage Equality
This new polling comes as the U.S. Senate is set to consider the Respect for Marriage Act (RMA), which passed in the House of Representatives on a bipartisan, 267-157 vote this past summer, including 47 Republicans. The bill would nationally codify federal marriage equality by guaranteeing the federal rights, benefits and obligations of marriages in the federal code; repeal the discriminatory Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA); and affirm that public acts, records and proceedings are recognized by all states.
The need for the RMA became acute days the HRC after the Supreme Court’s recent decision overturning the more than 50 years of precedent set under Roe v. Wade. That decision has already restricted access to abortion for millions across the country. While the decision has no immediate legal impact on marriage equality, the concurring opinion delivered by Justice Clarence Thomas invited a challenge to the 2015 Obergefell v. Hodges ruling — the ruling that made marriage equality the law of the land across all 50 states, allowing same-sex couples the same protections under federal law.
In addition to the strong congressional and polling support, the RMA has attracted the backing of hundreds of major businesses and a grassroots movement. HRC organized a sign-on letter that attracted more than 220 major firms representing more than 8.5 million employees, in all 50 states, to express their support of the RMA. HRC also spurred its more than 3 million highly engaged members and supporters, and the nation’s 62 million “Equality Voters,” in a letter writing and phone calling campaign that saw more than 10,000 calls placed and 33,000 letters sent to senators urging them to vote in favor of the Respect for Marriage Act.