Poll: Support for gay marriage hits high after rulingWASHINGTON — A record majority of Americans approve of same-sex marriage in the wake of two landmark Supreme Court decisions, a USA TODAY poll finds. But the high court's rulings that struck down provisions of the Voting Rights Act and tightened the rules on affirmative action aren't in sync with the public's views.
Overall, views of the court soured after a term that ended last week with high-profile decisions over who can marry, how college admissions are judged and whether the nation is ready to move on from some civil rights protections on voting.
The court's decisions that opened the door to gay marriage in California and struck down a law that barred federal benefits for same-sex couples may well have boosted support in a country that was already moving in favor of same-sex marriage.
"Neither one of those decisions is as a legal matter a huge gay rights victory," says Tom Goldstein, a Harvard Law School professor and publisher of SCOTUSblog, which analyzes the high court. "But it's the moral message from the court that these unions are entitled to equal respect ... that is probably the lasting legacy of the decisions and is probably going to play a significant role in public opinion."
The poll by Princeton Survey Research Associates questioned 1,003 adults from Thursday through Sunday. It has a margin of error of +/-3.6 percentage points.