The Free Press, Mankato, MN

State, national news

March 21, 2013

Poll: Support for gay marriage reaches all-time high

— Support for same-sex marriage among Americans has jumped significantly in the past year to an all-time high of 58 percent, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll.

That number reflects a remarkable — and remarkably fast — turnabout in American public opinion on one of the most emotionally raw and politically divisive issues of the past decade.

As recently as 2010, opponents of same-sex marriage outnumbered supporters. As recently as 2006, they outnumbered them by a double-digit margin, 58 percent to 36 percent.

Seven years later, that picture has turned upside down.

The change is apparent across the board, with Americans of all political stripes and age groups becoming increasingly supportive of gay marriage. Fully 81 percent of adults between the ages of 18 and 29 support same-sex marriage, and while support dips to 44 percent among those 65 and older, both of those figures are highs.

Most Republicans continue to oppose gay marriage, but among Americans younger than 50, a slim majority of Republicans and GOP-leaning independents now support it.

On Monday, there were signs that both parties' establishments were trying to catch up to this shift in beliefs. Republican leaders, performing an "autopsy" of last fall's election defeats, said they fear that the GOP's position on same-sex marriage is driving some young voters away.

And among Democrats, former secretary of state Hillary Rodham Clinton appeared in a Web video to endorse legalizing same-sex marriage.

"I support marriage for lesbian and gay couples," Clinton says in the video, released by the Human Rights Campaign, an advocacy group. "I support it personally and as a matter of policy and law."

During her presidential run in 2008, Clinton endorsed same-sex "civil unions" but not marriage. But her shift does not make her the first major Democratic contender for 2016's presidential nomination to signal support for gay marriage.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
State, national news
  • Congress racing to finish Congress races to finish veterans, highway bills

    July 31, 2014

  • Target New CEO [Duplicate] Target names Pepsi's Cornell as chairman, CEO MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Target has hired Pepsi executive Brian Cornell as its new chairman and CEO as it looks to recover from a huge data breach and troubles in Canada. Cornell replaces interim CEO John Mulligan, who is chief financial officer for the M

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • Brain wave monitoring is better gauge than using a focus group, study says To predict a large population’s likely response to something — a product, politician or policy — political consultants, marketing gurus and advertising execs have long favored the focus group. Ask a small segment of the target audience what it thinks

    July 31, 2014

  • Argentina slides into default as debt talks fail NEW YORK (AP) — The collapse of talks with U.S. creditors sent Argentina into its second debt default in 13 years and raised questions about what comes next for financial markets and the South American nation's staggering economy. A midnight Wednesd

    July 31, 2014

  • Exchange Bee Researcher [Duplicate] Bee researcher takes aim at central Minnesota park WAITE PARK — Crystal Boyd strained four bees, three flies and one leafhopper from a yellow pan trap, the third of 12 in a transect topping a granite outcrop in Quarry Park Scientific and Natural Area.She popped everything into a labeled, zip-top plas

    July 31, 2014 4 Photos

  • Cinema verite documentarian Robert Drew dies at 90 Filmmaker Robert Drew, a pioneer of the modern documentary who in "Primary" and other movies mastered the intimate, spontaneous style known as cinema verite and schooled a generation of influential directors that included D.A. Pennebaker and Albert M

    July 30, 2014

  • Homeowner killed, another injured in Vegas crime spree LAS VEGAS — A horrific carjacking and home invasion spree ended with two people dead and a woman in critical condition. One victim, Richard Ramos, a 59-year-old father of four, “fought to his death” to protect his wife and children from their attack

    July 30, 2014

  • Officer Shooting Minnesota-9 [Duplicate] UPDATE: Suspect in Minnesota officer killing in custody WEST ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Police in Minnesota say a man wanted in the shooting death of an officer is in custody after being shot by police. St. Paul police spokesman Sgt. Paul Paulos says 39-year-old Brian Fitch Sr. got out of a minivan firing at

    July 30, 2014 4 Photos

  • Officer Shooting Minnesota-3 [Duplicate] Minnesota officer killed making traffic stop WEST ST. PAUL (AP) — A police officer in Minnesota was fatally shot Wednesday while making a traffic stop and authorities said they were searching for a suspect. Mendota Heights police officer Scott Patrick, 47, was shot about 12:20 p.m. after pulli

    July 30, 2014 2 Photos

  • Possible suspect caught in Minnesota cop shooting WEST ST. PAUL (AP) — A potential suspect in the shooting of a police officer in Minnesota has been captured. Minnesota Public Radio News reports that the officer was killed. Television news footage showed the man being pulled from his vehicle Wednes

    July 30, 2014