The Washington Post today reports on a new poll showing that the momentum in favor of same-sex marriage has finally won over a majority of Americans.  Today, 53 percent of respondents say that same-sex marriage should be legal.  Only five years ago, that number was 36 percent, leaving one to wonder where the trend will carry us in the next five years.  “As people have come to understand this is about loving, committed families dealing, like everyone, with tough times, they understand how unfair it is to treat them differently,” said Evan Wolfson, president of Freedom to Marry.

Opponents of same-sex marriage took issue with poll’s use of the words “legal or illegal” to determine support, suggesting that some people may choose “legal” to avoid taking a position associated with criminal sanctions.  “Post-ABC News polls have used the same “legal or illegal” wording in every poll about same-sex marriage since 2003. Other surveys by the Pew Research Center, the Associated Press and CNN show similar trends.”

Also interesting from the poll results are the number of people who feel strongly about the issue on each side. “In the past, the number of Americans who felt strongly that gay marriage should be banned far outnumbered those who were passionate in their belief that it should be legal. That has balanced out, with 35 percent strongly against legal gay marriage and 36 percent strongly in favor.”  Though recent victories for gay marriage supporters may galvanize some opponents and refresh strong feelings of opposition, the more likely result will be that the trend of apathy in the middle will continue to swing towards stronger support for same-sex marriage over time.