May 24 (UPI) — More than two-thirds of Americans now support same-sex marriage — and more are identifying themselves as part of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community, new Gallup research shows.
In the highest level ever recorded by Gallup, 67 percent Americans said they support same-sex marriage. Gallup said it’s recorded 3 percent increases in each of its last three annual surveys on the issue.
Wednesday’s report showed a 40 percent point increase from Gallup’s first poll on the matter in 1996, when just 27 percent voiced support for same-sex unions.
Some of the increases may be attributed to the greater number of marrying LGBT adults, Gallup said, meaning more Americans are likely to know someone with a same-sex partner. The visibility of these marriages may be playing a role in overturning previously held views concerning their legal status, researchers said.
The poll shows the greatest support for same-sex marriage comes from Democrats, at 83 percent. Republican approval is at 47 percent.
The poll asked more than 1,000 U.S. adults and has a margin of error of 4 points.
The results follow a poll earlier this month by the nonprofit Public Religion Research Institute showed a majority of voters in 44 states approve same-sex marriage.
Tuesday, Gallup found more Americans are also identifying themselves as LGBT. The number rose to 4.5 percent last year, up from 4.1 percent in 2016 and 3.5 percent in 2012.
The increased numbers stem mostly from millennials, those born between 1980 and 1999, the report said.
Millennial members of the LGBT community expanded to 8.1 percent in 2017, up from 7.3 percent a year earlier and 5.8 percent in 2012. The percentage for those born between 1965 and 1979 rose just 0.2 percent last year. No change was recorded for Baby Boomers born from 1946 to 1964.
“A variety of factors can affect the willingness of adults to identify as LGBT,” Dr. Gary Gates said. “These can include how comfortable and confident survey respondents feel about the confidentiality and privacy of data collected.”
Younger Americans may feel increasingly comfortable with their sexual orientation and more likely to freely identify, researchers said.
The poll was based on a survey of 340,604 adults and has a margin of error of 1 point.