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Americans who know a gay person twice as likely to support same-sex marriage, poll finds

Americans who know a gay person twice as likely to support same-sex marriage, poll finds

The attitudes of Americans towards gay men and lesbians are changing at a rapid pace with a solid majority supporting same-sex marriage, a majority say they wouldn’t be upset if their child were gay, and an ‘overwhelming majority’ say that the orientation of a Congressional candidate wouldn’t matter, according to a new McClatchy-Marist Poll.

It found that the sea change in attitudes is being propelled by two major forces. One, people aged 18-29 overwhelmingly favor same-sex marriage. Two, the ranks of Americans who say they know someone who’s gay has skyrocketed over the last decade and a half. And those who know someone who’s gay are almost twice as likely to support same-sex marriage.

Of the over 1,035 adults interviewed via telephone for the poll, those 18-29 were overwhelmingly in favor of gay marriage, the number who actually know a gay person has surpassed 70%, and those who know someone gay are almost twice as likely to support same-sex marriage.

‘It is a sea change in attitude,’ said Lee Miringoff, the director of the Marist Institute for Public Opinion in New York, which conducted the survey. ‘You’d be hard-pressed to find an issue that has had a bigger shift in public opinion.’

The poll found that those who know someone who’s gay support same-sex marriage by 61-31 percent. Those who say they don’t know anyone who’s gay oppose same-sex marriage by 57-36 percent.

It also found that Republicans oppose same-sex marriage by better than 2-1 while tea party supporters oppose it by nearly 3-1.

Read more details from the poll here.