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  6.  | How prejudice and acceptance affect same-sex marriage stability

How prejudice and acceptance affect same-sex marriage stability

On Behalf of | May 26, 2020 | Same-Sex Family Matters

Prior to the Supreme Court ruling legalizing same-sex marriage in 2015, the percentage of cohabitating same-sex couples married to one another was 38%. In 2017, that percentage had risen to 61%. In other words, a majority of cohabitating same-sex couples are now married.

Married same-sex couples experience many of the same stresses that different-sex couples do, as well as others unique to their situation. Marriage is a public institution, not a private one, and the attitudes of those around them, whether positive or negative, can affect the stability of a marriage between same-sex partners.

Social support

When people around the couple support their relationship, that helps to stabilize the marriage. According to, LGBT couples involved in a same-sex relationship may report low levels of support from family members. Although this can put a strain on the relationship, equivalent or higher support from friends may counteract the effect, at least to a certain degree.

Lack of support from outsiders can also negatively affect the relationship. This may occur in an indirect way, such as when an individual or couple is under stress because of employment or wage discrimination.

Shifting attitudes

According to Pew Research, some communities and populations tend to be more supportive of same-sex marriage than others. Attitudes vary by age, political inclination and religious affiliation. For example, a large majority of millennials, 74%, support same-sex marriage. There is less support among those born prior to 1945, but supporters in this generation still represent almost half at 45%.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, only 44% of Republicans and independents who lean right politically support same-sex marriage compared to 75% of Democrats and left-leaning independents. However, despite a traditional objection to same-sex marriage on religious grounds, a majority of Catholics, 61%, support same-sex marriage, along with 66% of mainline Protestants. Though support is still low among evangelicals, it is nearly double what it was in 2009.