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2023 Sees Massive Reversal in Americans’ Acceptance of Same-Sex Relationships

The results of the 2023 poll are a significant about-face, given that support for same-sex marriage and LGBT causes has been rising nonstop since the early 2000s.
Leo Timm
Leo Timm covers China-related news, culture, and history. Follow him on Twitter at @kunlunpeaks
Published: June 20, 2023
Demonstrators hold a rally to block gay marriage inside the Utah State Capitol on January 28, 2014 in Salt Lake City, Utah. Several weeks prior, a federal judge ruled unconstitutional a voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage in the state. (Image: George Frey/Getty Images)

The percentage of Americans who accept same-sex relations has fallen to pre-COVID levels, according to a new survey conducted in May by polling company Gallup.

While 71 percent of Americans said they found gay relationships acceptable in 2022, only 64 percent said the same in 2023, representing a seven-point drop in a single year and the lowest point since 2019.

According to the annual Values and Beliefs survey, in which 1,011 adults nationwide took part, acceptance of gay relations fell by 15 percent among Republican respondents (56 to 41 percent), compared with a 6-percent decrease among Democrats (85 to 79 percent).

The results of the 2023 poll are a significant reversal, given that support for gay marriage and LGBT causes has been rising nonstop since the early 2000s.

Among Republicans, the 2023 decline to 41 percent erased nearly 10 years’ worth of rising acceptance of same-sex relationships: the last time the figure was so low was in 2014, when 39 percent of Republicans felt gay relationships were morally acceptable.

The Gallup poll also recorded declines in support for divorce (81 to 78 percent) and birth control (92 to 88 percent), while support for the right to gay marriage, which became legal in 2015, remained at the same level as 2022 — 71 percent.

Gallup on June 9 published an article noting that over half — 54 percent — of Americans see the moral state of the nation as “poor,” representing a four-point increase since 2022 and the lowest point in a 22-year-trend. It was “the first time the reading has reached the majority level,” author Megan Brenan noted.

Thirty-eight percent of Democrats felt that the moral state of America was poor, compared with 74 percent of Republicans (a record high for that demographic). The numbers are a two-point increase for Americans of both parties, with the increase among Independents rising seven points from 44 percent in 2022 to 51 percent this year.