Social Policy & Politics Program | One Pager

The Big Shift: Why Marriage Won at the Ballot Box

by Lanae Erickson Hatalsky and Sarah Trumble

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This week, Americans in four states voted in favor of marriage for gay couples—making 2012 the first time in history that marriage has won at the ballot box. This incredible outcome relegates the past record of 32 losses to the dustbin of history, and it illustrates the rapid journey our country has taken on this issue since 2004.

In our recent report, The Big Shift, we tracked this evolution using 128,000 responses from 98 national surveys, and our data shows that these victories were the result of one thing: Americans across every age, race, religion, party, ideology, and region reconsidered and decided to support allowing committed gay and lesbian couples to marry.

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