A recent Fox News poll asked Americans about same-sex marriage using two different question wording frames. The first frame asking about "changing the definition of the word marriage to also include same-sex couples" garnered 39 percent support, while 56 percent opposed. In contrast, on the same poll 46 percent favored "legalizing same-sex marriage” while 47 percent opposed. Americans are more reluctant to support marriage for same-sex couples when framed as changing a word’s definition. When framed as legalization, more Americans support marriage equality, resulting in a 7 point increase in support. 

Would you approve or disapprove of changing the definition of the word marriage to also include same-sex couples?

  • 39% Approve
  • 56% Disapprove
  • 5% Don’t Know

Do you favor or oppose legalizing same-sex marriage?

  • 46% Favor
  • 47% Opposed
  • 7% Don’t Know 

Source: Fox News Poll

In May, Gallup asked survey respondents if they thought most Americans favored or opposed same-sex marriage: 63 percent assumed most Americans opposed same-sex marriage while 30 percent were in favor. However, in the same month Pew found that nearly three-fourths of Americans thought that legal recognition of same-sex couples is inevitable, and a quarter thought it was not. While most Americans believe same-sex marriage is still not popular, they expect it will eventually be accepted.