While some Texas legislators and far-right groups continue to push measures to block the freedom to marry for gay and lesbian couples, a new Gallup poll shows their views are shared by a steadily shrinking minority of people across the country.
The poll released today shows that a record-high 60 percent of Americans say that marriages between same-sex couples should be legally recognized and have the same rights as traditional marriages. Just 37 percent said they oppose same-sex marriage.
Back in early 2009, when Barack Obama became president, support for same-sex marriage stood at just 40 percent. It stood at just 37 percent in 2005, the year after President George W. Bush promoted a federal constitutional amendment banning such unions during his re-election campaign. That was the same year Texas voters approved a state constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage.
Now, however, support for same-sex marriage has reached new highs among Democrats, Independents and even Republicans nationwide, Gallup says. Todays’ poll showed that 76 percent of Democrats, 64 percent of Independents and 37 percent of Republicans support same-sex marriage. Opponents of same-sex marriage were more likely to insist that any political candidates they support share their views on the issue.
Texas is just one of 13 states that still ban same-sex marriage. Last Thursday Republican lawmakers failed to win passage of a bill intended to reinforce that ban before a key deadline in the Texas House of Representatives. HB 4105 by state Rep. Cecile Bell, R-Magnolia, would bar state and local officials from issuing or recognizing marriage licenses for same-sex couples even if the U.S. Supreme Court rules that state bans on such unions are unconstitutional.
Then on Friday the Texas House Republican Caucus released a letter, signed by 93 of the chamber’s 98 GOP members, reaffirming their opposition to the freedom to marry for gay and lesbian couples. Rep. Bell says he is looking for a way to add his discrimination bill as an amendment to other legislation before the end of the current legislative session on June 1.