With the nation’s attention on a number of lawmakers changing their minds to support same-sex marriage, other groups, particularly African-Americans, the elderly and blue-collar workers, who have historically opposed gay marriage, are now following suit and supporting it.
In a new NBC/Wall Street Journal poll, African-American voters favored gay marriage 51 percent to 37 percent, whereas four years ago, the numbers were flipped 32 percent to 53 percent in opposition.
The nation’s elderly and residents of the South have also changed their views. With the majority of them still opposed to gay marriage, voters 65 and older are 54 percent opposed and 32 percent in favor compared to the 6 percent who were supportive of gay marriage and 80 percent opposed in 2004.
In the conservative South, 42percent are in favor of same-sex marriage and 50 percent opposed. In 2004, there were just 20 percent in favor and 71 percent against.
The largest shift came from America’s blue-collar workers. In 2004, the vast majority were opposed to gay marriage, 80 percent to 18 percent. Today, the polls show 47 percent in favor and 43 percent percent against it.
“Many more family members have come forward, whether it’s somebody’s sister, brother, cousin, uncle, mother, father, whatever it is, have come forward as to their interest in marriage equality and that’s been then translated into our popular culture.” House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said.
The change in opinions have been noted since the Supreme Court took on the case of California’s ban on gay marriage, Prop. 8 and the Defense of Marriage Act, denying federal benefits to same-sex couples.