A majority of Republicans across the country now support some form of legal recognition for gay couples. 12% are in favor of full marriage rights, 39% support civil unions, and only 48% believe there should be no legal rights for gay couples at all.
There are some major divides on the issue within the party:
-57% of Tea Party Republicans oppose any legal recognition for gay couples but that's less than a third of the party's voters. With the majority who don't consider themselves part of the Tea Party only 40% oppose all legal recognition with 16% supporting outright marriage and 44% going for civil unions.
-Opinions on rights for gay couples vary dramatically along income lines. 57% who make less than $30,000 a year and 53% who make between $30,000 and $50,000 a year oppose all legal recognition. But with those making over $100,000 only 33% oppose any legal recognition and 24% support full marriage rights.
-It's customary to see large age divides on gay rights, not just among Republicans but among all voters. That is the case here- 56% of GOP voters under 30 support some form of legal recognition for gay couples and that drops to 54% in the 30 to 45 age bracket, 50% in the 46 t0 65 group, and 48% with the over 65 crowd.
To put the 51% of Republicans who support legal recognition for gay couples into perspective, that's higher than the 45% who approve of the job John Boehner's doing as Speaker of the House. The times they are a changing...
These numbers are a synthesis of opinions among Republicans on gay marriage on 3 national polls we did for Daily Kos in March, April, and May. Over 1,000 GOP voters were interviewed between those three polls.
Full results here