Americans are opening their minds about gay rights, and they have become more accepting of marriage equality. According to Forbes.com, Gallup asks its survey question this way: “Do you think marriages between same-sex couples should or should not be recognized by the law as valid, with the same rights as traditional marriages? In May 44% (up from 27% when Gallup first asked the question in 1996) said they should be recognized as valid. But 53% in the new poll, (down from 68% in 1996) said they should not be. Fox News asked similar questions and found in July 2010 37%, almost double the response in 2000, said homosexuals should be allowed to marry legally, 29% supported legal partnerships, and 28% no legal recognition.
“Should homosexuality be an acceptable alternative lifestyle? Thirty-four percent said yes when Gallup asked the question for the first time in 1982. In 2008, the last time Gallup asked the question, a solid majority, 57%, answered in the affirmative.
“What about legality? In 1977 people split evenly, 43 to 43%, on whether homosexual relations between consenting adults should or should not be legal. Now 55% say they should be legal, while 40% say they should not be.”