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Race and Attitudes Toward Same-Sex Marriage Among Young Adults

kappaIn a study done by the Black Youth Project, it shows that the attitudes toward same-sex marriage vary by race amongst youth.

Analysis shows Latino youth support same-sex marriage at much higher rates than Black youth, though support for same-sex marriage has grown across all racial groups.

Contrary to the conventional narrative reported in the media, young people’s attitudes toward same-sex marriage vary widely across racial groups. The latest report in the Black Youth Project’s series, “Black and Latino Youth and the Future of American Politics”, examines acceptance of same-sex marriage in 2009 and 2012. In both years, Black youth were much less supportive of same-sex marriage compared with their white and Latino peers, and Latino youth express the highest levels of support.

Support for same-sex marriage grew among each racial group between 2009 and 2012, yet racial differences in attitudes toward same-sex marriage persist. While young people are more supportive of same-sex marriage than older adults, differences by age are much smaller among Blacks than they are for both whites and Latinos. Since 2009, the gender gap in support of same-sex marriage has decreased among white and Latino youth, but increased slightly among Black youth, with young Black women somewhat more supportive of same-sex marriage than young Black men.

These data refute the common perception that Blacks oppose same-sex marriage, yet they also indicate that young people’s attitudes toward same-sex marriage are more complicated than is usually reported. To be sure, generational change is an important part of the story about why public support for same-sex marriage has increased over the last several years. Our report highlights the differences in public opinion across racial groups, and shows that on this issue there simply is no single youth voice.

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