It looks like Americans are finally accepting gay marriage, even if nearly half still don’t approve of the same-sex unions. According to a new poll by the Pew Research Center, 72% of Americans say that legal recognition of gay marriage is inevitable, although only 51% actually approve of allowing it.
The “rising sense of inevitability,” as the Pew researchers explained, was significant in groups that are usually reluctant to support gay marriage, including Republicans, seniors and white evangelical Protestants. Although the same-sex marriage issue remains divisive – with 42% saying they opposed making it legal and 45% believing homosexual behavior is a sin – opponents and supporters are resigned to its eventual legalization. The Pew study included phone-survey responses from 1,504 adults in all 50 states who were polled in the first five days of May.
The study also found that Americans are more accepting of being around gays and lesbians. 83% said it does not bother them to be around homosexuals, versus 76% a decade ago.