National support for marriage equality nearing 60%

The latest poll from ABC News/Washington Post shows that 58% of Americans now support marriage equality, the highest total ever seen in a mainstream national poll.

Support and opposition to marriage equality have switched places almost exactly in the ten years since ABC News/Washington Post has been asking this question. 

Similar trend lines emerge when looking at the question of whether Americans believe that being gay is 'something people choose' or whether it's 'just the way they are.'

Whether the question is phrased to reference a Lady Gaga song or a BIlly Joel one, the answer for most Americans has been the same for nearly two decades. 

But the important takeaway here isn't in found in either of these graphs, it's in the makeup of the data behind them.  Support is up among literally every demographic that was tracked, including the ones that oppose equality.  From the ABC News article:

...While just 33 percent of conservatives support gay marriage, that’s up by 23 points from nine years ago. Support encompasses more than seven in 10 liberals and moderates alike, with the greatest growth among moderates, 31 points higher now than in 2004.

Sentiment among religious groups shows the same kinds of trends. Among non-evangelical white Protestants, 70 percent in this poll support gay marriage, compared with fewer than half as many of those who describe themselves as evangelicals, 31 percent. But that’s up by a nearly identical 25 and 24 points among these groups, respectively, since 2004. Support for gay marriage also is up, by 19 points, among Catholics, to 59 percent.

All of these results are driven by the stories of same-sex couples. As we just saw with Rob Portman last week, the more Americans get to know LGBT people, the more they support equality.