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Americans Say Gays Face Most Discrimination

Jim Burroway

September 11th, 2009

The Pew Research Center released a report (PDF: 381KB/24 pages) which discusses Americans’ attitudes toward Muslims, but reveals that Muslims aren’t the ones that Americans see as most discriminated against. According to the report:

Americans see Muslims as facing more discrimination inside the U.S. than other major religious groups. Nearly six-in-ten adults (58%) say that Muslims are subject to a lot of discrimination, far more than say the same about Jews, evangelical Christians, atheists or Mormons. In fact, of all the groups asked about, only gays and lesbians are seen as facing more discrimination than Muslims with nearly two-thirds (64%) of the public saying there is a lot of discrimination against homosexuals.

The report focuses almost entirely on Americans’ attitudes toward Islam and Muslims. But the interesting thing is how Americans view discrimination against gays and lesbians.

Is There A Lot of Discrimination Against… Yes No
Muslims 58% 29%
Jews 35% 54%
Evang. Christians 27% 56%
Atheists 26% 59%
Mormons 24% 56%
Gays and Lesbians 64% 30%
Hispanics 52% 41%
Blacks 49% 46%
Women 37% 59%

The poll was conducted in several groups in August 2009. The first five responses of religious groups (Muslims, Jews, Evangelical Christians, Atheists and Mormons) were from a sample size of 2,010 with a margin of error of 2.5 percentage points. The last four responses were from sample sizes of from 999 to 1,011, giving a margin of error of 3.5 percentage points. Yes and No responses do not add to 100% due to participants either saying they didn’t know or refused to answer.



Richard W. Fitch
September 11th, 2009 | LINK

None of the combined ‘Yes’ & ‘No’ lines add up to 100%. Were there other choices not shown here? I’m surprised at the low %% for Mormon and Evang. Does this reflect a skewing of the sample set?

Jim Burroway
September 11th, 2009 | LINK

The remaining answers were either Don’t Know or refused to answer. I’ve updated the post to clarify that.

The low numbers for Mormons and Evangelical Christians don’t surprise me one bit. While members of those two groups often claim victimhood status over perceived slights, ordinary Americans tend not to look at either group as particularly disadvantaged when it comes to acts of discrimination.

September 11th, 2009 | LINK

These numbers are interesting and somewhat surprising, but I think a study of actual discrimination against minorities would be far more useful than a poll of perceived discrimination.

September 11th, 2009 | LINK

Good point Alex, but Box turtle has posted statistics about actual hate crimes against minority groups and the results are similar to this poll. Perhaps someone at Box Turtle could link to those statistics, I remember reading them during the prop 8 campaign.

September 11th, 2009 | LINK

The hate crimes against gays tend to be more of a violent nature.

Getting off this subject, I am fascinated by the case of the young South African female runner who has been proven to be a hermaphrodite.

September 11th, 2009 | LINK

HA! So they know we’re discriminated against and yet most of them still support laws which enforce discrimination. Its just like the low approval rating for congress and yet everyone always reelects the incumbent. Because its always someone else’s problem or someone else’s representative that is bad or someone else that is doing the discrimination!

September 11th, 2009 | LINK

I think it’s interesting that atheists are so low in the Yes column, considering that one poll a while back that said more people would consider voting for a homosexual than an atheist.

Not that I necessarily disagree with that, but it does exist, albeit mostly in far more subtle ways like the one I mentioned.

I do think it’s odd that Mormons score even lower than Evangelicals, who are often the instigators against the former. Guess they’re come across as far less pitiable with their aggression towards LGBTs now.

R. Zeke Fread
September 12th, 2009 | LINK

The Pew Research Center’s survey certainly doesn’t come as a surprise to the GLBT community, we live with discrimination and blatant hatred everyday. If anything, at the least it exposes what we’ve been attempting to educate the public to forever. I was pleased to see the numbers for Mormons and Evangelical Christians were low. Considering their propaganda’s machines have been working overtime to convince the American people they’re the targets of discrimination because of their religious beliefs. I hope this means people realize that they are using these beliefs, as well as millions of millions of dollars, to continue lead the fight to deny GLBT their equal rights. I believe the numbers for them should have been even lower. Taking into account they’re the one who incite so much hatred directed at GLBT’s, and others who don’t follow in goose-step with their anti-gay agenda.

Sadly, Pomo, hit the nail on the head. The people know this, yet continue to keep these idiots in office. When are they going to wake-up, smell the coffee, and kick these politicians butts to the curb? Nothing is going to change until people step-up and take responsibility for allowing the status quo to continue. Discrimination will most likely never end, but, we can do something to decrease the number of people who suffer from it.

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