One of the loudest arguments in the fight for LGBT equality has been same sex marriage rights. Same sex marriage has been at the forefront of the movement, as grassroots campaigners and leading politicians alike champion same sex marriage, attempting to repeal laws that go against it and make it legal in places that only offered civil unions or partnerships.
And that campaigning has been incredibly successful. In the United States, same sex marriage campaigners have seen the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) repealed in order for same sex married couples to have their marriages recognised by the government and over 70% of the population now lives in a place where same sex marriage is legal.
Meanwhile, in the UK, David Cameron has said that helping bring same sex marriage into law is one of his proudest achievements.
But has it all been for nothing? Despite the growing support for same sex marriage amongst in and out of the LGBT community, a new study from Pew suggests that many LGBT people are actually opposed to it.
Pew deemed that overall, 7% of LGBT people in the United States are opposed to same sex marriage. The biggest demographics who are against same sex marriage are LGBT African-Americans, LGBT Republicans and bisexuals.
58% of black LGBT people are strongly in favour of same sex marriage, with 12% against it.
45% of LGBT Republicans are strongly in favour, with 19% against it. 8% of bisexuals are against same sex marriage and 22% don’t feel strongly in favour or against it.
The data suggests that religion and age could have been strong factors in LGBT people feeling this way as although 82% of those ages 18 to 29 were in support, 71% of LGBT people over 30 support same sex marriage, which is a big difference.
And in religious groups, 67% of religious LGBT people support same sex marriage in comparison to 82% of non-religiously affiliated LGBT people supporting it.
What’s also important to note is that Pew’s data was collected in 2013, which was before the many same sex marriage victories that took place in the United States in 2014. Perhaps respondents saw those victories take place and changed their opinions afterwards.
Other Pew data told us that 18% of LGBT people overall were in favour of same sex marriage but not strongly.
That’s likely down to the fact that a growing number of LGBT people feel as though same sex marriage gets too much of the limelight and that other LGBT rights issues – such as housing, employment and adoption rights – deserve more attention.
Clearly there is work to be done on all fronts, so we’ll keep you posted once we know more.