Gallup Poll: They Like Us! They Really, Really Like Us!

Most of them, anyway...

Jim Burroway

May 29th, 2007

The latest Gallup poll of attitudes toward gays and lesbians shows significant improvements on several fronts. Among the findings:

  1. 59% now think homosexual relations should be legal. This is up from 50% in July 2003, during the aftermath of Lawrence vs. Texas, which threw out anti-sodomy statutes nationwide. Interestingly, that 50% figure represents something of a backlash reaction; 59% thought homosexuality should be legal just two months earlier. With this latest poll, that backlash is now officially over.
  2. 89% agree that gays and lesbians should not face discrimination in job opportunities. That figure has been in the eighties since 1993.
  3. 57% think homosexuality is an acceptable “lifestyle”; 39% do not.
    • And time is definitely on our side. Among those 18-34 years of age, 75% say it’s acceptable while 23 do not.
    • Among those aged 35-54, it’s still 58% acceptable; 39% not.
    • You have to go to the 55+ age group to find a majority disapproving, and even there the level of acceptance is quite high (45% acceptable; 51% not).
  4. The public is split on whether homosexuality is morally acceptable: 47% think it is, and 49% say it isn’t.
  5. On the nature/nurture debate, 42% now believe gays and lesbians are born that way, and 35% think it’s the result of upbringing or the environment. Eleven percent say it’s both.
    • Where people fall on the the nature/nurture debate plays a humongous role in whether they believe homosexuality is an acceptable “lifestyle”.
    • Among those that believes gays and lesbians are born gay, a whopping 78% believe it is an acceptable “lifestyle”; only 19% do not.
    • Among those who subscribe to the nurture side of the debate, a mere 30% find homosexuality to be an acceptable “lifestyle,” while 68% do not.
  6. When it comes to same-sex marriage, we still have some work to do: 46% support them; 53% do not.

To me, there are two significant findings. First of all, time is definitely on our side. As far as everyone who is under the age of 55, we’re golden. And even for those who are above the age of 55, there’s a significant level of acceptance. Barely over half disapprove.

And the second thing is that this poll shows in the sharpest contrast imaginable the differences between those who believe gays and lesbians are born gay versus those who think we were raised that way. It’s no wonder anti-gay activists are so heavily invested in the ex-gay movement and the environmental theories which are at their core.

Sampling error varies according to the number of respondents and the responses they give. The Gallup organization gives the maximum sampling error at +/- 3% (95% confidence level).


May 29th, 2007

Forty-one percent of Americans think you should be arrested for dating someone of your own sex. Hoo-fucking-ray.


Timothy Kincaid

May 29th, 2007

I can understand you sarcasm, PasserBy.

But I think that you overstate the case. Although this may seem like quibbling, I think that it is accurate:

I suspect that VERY few people would have said that they support arresting someone for dating someone of their own sex. But they did say it should be illegal. That may seem at odds, but you have to recall that in the states in which there were sodomy laws before Lawrence, there were very very few arrests.

If you asked the 41%, I imagine they’d say “we have to take a stand against immorality” or “being legal doesn’t send the right message to the children” but I doubt you could find 5% who would actually support incarcerating gay people.

Still, it is disappointing that 41% favor illegality.

Jim Burroway

May 29th, 2007

Actually, to quibble even further, only 37% said it “should not be legal.” Together with the favorable answer, this is the best response since they started asking this question in 1977.

It’s a marathon, not a sprint. But it’s one we’re definitely winning.

Lynn David

May 30th, 2007

57% agree that a “gay lifestyle” is ok and 59% agree with decriminalizatio. It looks like it’s almost an all or notihng thing (though moral acceptability is a bit lower at 47%).

Willie Hewes

May 30th, 2007

I have to say the ‘legality’ results threw me as well. You shouldn’t fire someone for being gay, but it should be illegal for them to have sex? Whuh?


June 1st, 2007

I submit that the anti-gay activists with their environmental theories of homosexuality are probably closer to the truth than those who believe people are born gay. The idea that people are born gay is very likely mistaken; I am sceptical of the idea that believing theories that are probably mistaken is a good way of advancing gay rights.


June 6th, 2007

I suspect that a lot of the respondents didn’t understand the “relations” question. The use of “relations” as a euphemism for “sex acts” was already fairly quaint when I was a teenager thirty years ago. I’d be willing to bet that most people under 55 read the question as “should homosexual relationships be legally recognized?” rather than “should sexual activity between two people of the same sex not be criminalized?”

Katlynd Hesse

January 24th, 2008

Well my opinion on all this is people are born gay and therefore should not be punished for it. It is my opinion as a bisexual that if I was ever to be fired, or discriminated against ever for my sexual orientation that would be morally wrong and not my sexual preference. How is homosexuality affecting you in a bad way that we must suffer? LOVE IS LOVE!

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