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Republicans slowly warming to gay marriage

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Opposition to gay marriage is declining across the country. Among Republicans, is the same true? Yes; it’s just a much slower progression. And Obama’s announcement of his support for same-sex marriage may have pushed Republican support back down a bit.

Former vice president Dick Cheney’s daughter married another woman Friday, with minimal backlash. Yet even with such high-profile exceptions, opposition to gay marriage among Republicans remains far higher than among other Americans.

In the latest Post polling, 61 percent of Republicans think gay marriage should be illegal, compared with 36 percent of independents and 25 percent of Democrats. Overall, 53 percent of Americans think gay marriage should be legal, according to the most recent Post polling, while only 39 percent think it should be illegal.

Since March, the number of Republicans who think gay marriage should be legal has declined 10 points from 39 percent to 29 percent, to about where it was last year.

Among Republicans ages 18 to 44, the numbers are far different and evolving far more quickly — opinion is currently evenly divided at 46 percent.

In both groups, the number of people who think gay marriage should be legal has decreased, but the number who think it should be illegal has not increased.

It would be a mistake to read too much into one poll, but the Associated Press also found that opposition to gay marriage among Republicans has intensified since Obama’s announcement.

Still, it’s clear that gay marriage opposition is (slowly) on its way out, even among Republicans.

Washington Post polling director Jon Cohen contributed to this report.

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