Half of Texans now support marriage equality

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Change is slow, but one positive about LGBT rights bigotry in Texas is that it’s a lot better than it used to be. A new study shows that statewide support for marriage equality is up for the 10th year in a row.

The Williams Institute, the UCLA gay think tank that measures all manner of statistics as they relate to LGBT issues, released its exhaustive annual state-by-state survey of public support for marriage equality last week, and this time compiled the results with the same survey since 2004 for a decade-long “megapoll” that shows we’re making progress.

In fact, not only has support of gay couples marrying increased every year, it goes up at a faster rate as the each year passes, the report says.

Key findings from the report include:

• Since 2004, public support in every state has increased on average 2.6 percent. Since 2012, it has risen 6.2 percent every year.

• By 2014, 36 states and the District of Columbia are estimated to have support at or above 50 percent. By 2016, two more states are estimated to join that group.

• In 2014, Vermont was the state with the highest level of public support at 75 percent, and Alabama had the lowest at 35 percent. The District of Columbia had 86 percent support.

Things aren’t quite that rosy in Texas, which ranks 32nd in the report, but the situation is rapidly improving and for the first time shows a majority of support. The state shows 51 percent of residents supported marriage equality in 2014. That’s up four percentage points in just 7 months, when two voter polls showed state residents more gay-friendly than their legislature.

Even better is the rapid growth pattern. Stats from 2004 show Texas’ gay marriage support at a measly 25 percent. As recently as 2011, only 32 percent were in favor of legalizing marriage for same-sex couples.

Marriage equality could be the law of the land by writ of the Supreme Court sooner rather than later, even if state residents aren’t all on board with the idea yet. Good thing, too, since even some Republican lawmakers like the projected $181 million boost it could bring to the state's economy. 

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