Drop in Support for Gay Marriage Is No Cause for Alarm (VIDEO)

A new survey from Pew shows that support for marriage equality has dropped five percentage points since the start of the year, but there's no need for gay and lesbian couples to panic -- at least not yet.

The poll is just one of eight conducted this year and shows support at 49% to 41% opposed. But all seven other surveys in 2014 show support at over 50%. That includes a Gallup survey from May of 2014 that shows support steady at 55% since last year, and climbing steadily up from 50% in 2010.

What's more, a second survey released last week shows support climbing to 56%. That survey is from CBS and The New York Times, and the same poll showed support at 51% in 2012.

In addition, a March survey from the Washington Post and ABC put support at 59%. The year prior, it was 57%, and in 2012 it was 51%.

In other words, though the Pew findings may seem disheartening, they are way out of line with every other major national survey conducted recently.

Taken as a general trend among all surveys, public support for marriage equality is currently hovering around 56%. Opposition is dropping past 38%.

Of course, it's possible that the Pew survey represents an extremely sudden and dramatic shift in public opinion. But the likelihood of that is slim, since another survey conducted at the same time showed support far higher.

And over the last two decades, there have been at least 130 reputable national surveys on public support for marriage equality (plus far more at the state level). During that time, there has never been a time when numbers have not fluctuated somewhat from one survey to the next. But there has also never been a time when the general trend of support for marriage equality has declined.