Saturday, June 05, 2010

Americans' Acceptance of Gay Relations Crosses 50% Threshold

Now here's some good news: the Gallup organization, which has been studying human nature and behavior for more than 75 years and claims a reputation for "delivering relevant, timely, and visionary research on what people around the world think and feel," has released findings from its annual Values and Beliefs survey that show that "Americans' support for the moral acceptability of gay and lesbian relations crossed the symbolic 50% threshold in 2010. At the same time, the percentage calling these relations 'morally wrong' dropped to 43%, the lowest in Gallup's decade-long trend."

According to Gallop, there has been a "gradual increase in public acceptance of gay relations since about 2006." However, "the change is seen almost exclusively among men, and particularly men younger than 50."

Gallop's 2010 Values & Beliefs survey also shows that, wait for it . . .

Notably, there has been a 16-point jump in acceptance among Catholics, nearly three times the increase seen among Protestants.

Wow! That's totally made my night.

The same poll finds the slight majority of Americans still against legalizing gay marriage; however, reports Gallop, "at 53%, the extent of that opposition is down slightly this year."

The "bottom line," according to Gallop, is that:

There is a gradual cultural shift under way in Americans' views toward gay individuals and gay rights. While public attitudes haven't moved consistently in gays' and lesbians' favor every year, the general trend is clearly in that direction. This year, the shift is apparent in a record-high level of the public seeing gay and lesbian relations as morally acceptable. Meanwhile, support for legalizing gay marriage, and for the legality of gay and lesbian relations more generally, is near record highs.

For the full report of Gallop's May 2010 Values and Beliefs Survey, click here.

See also the previous Wild Reed posts:
A Surprising Finding Regarding Catholics and Gay Marriage
At UTS, a Rousing and Very Catholic Show of Support for Marriage Equality
300+ People Vigil at the Cathedral in Solidarity with LGBT Catholics
Is Anyone the Least Bit Surprised By This?
Love Is Love
New Studies: Gay Couples as Committed as Straight Couples
Getting It Right
Knowing What to Do, Knowing Why to Stay
A Christian Case for Same-Sex Marriage
The Real Gay Agenda


Mareczku said...

Thanks for sharing this. It is very interesting. I think it is significant that the approval among Catholics has gone from 46% to 62%. That is good news for sure. I hope the men at the top see this survey and take note. They need to stop catering to those who are prejudiced against gay people. But in a way I think that some of those that are prejudiced are leading many in the laity to greater tolerance and acceptance.

colkoch said...

Marecsku your observation is absolutely right. The more the hierarchy blather, the more obvious they make the bigotry, the more open minded people, including conservatives, are re evaluating their own attitudes.

It has also helped tremendously that more and more gays are coming out of the closet. It's really difficult for anyone to say anymore that they don't know any gay people.

One other impetus I see propelling this shift is the parents and family members of gay children. I have always maintained that the official teachings of the hierarchy are as hard and injurious to parents and other family members as it is gays themselves. Especially the non sense thrown out by NARTH and Courage about the etiology of homosexuality.

kevin57 said...

This comforted me. I was feeling blue after hearing that the Catholic Archbishop of the Military came out in favor of "Don't Ask; Don't Tell."

Mareczku said...

Colkoch, you are right. The more I think about it the more it seems to me that the bishops picking on gay people has helped lead to this 16% increase in approval. A lot of bishops are making themselves look bad and with the abuse crisis they have lost a lot of credibility when it comes to human sexuality issues. The attitudes of parents, family members and friends are also important.