Bil Browning

Gallup poll shows high level of support for LGBT rights

Filed By Bil Browning | May 30, 2007 3:34 PM | comments

Filed in: Marriage Equality, The Movement
Tags: civil rights, Gallup Poll, gay rights, marriage, polling, survey, United States

The Gallup Poll released their annual Values and Beliefs survey yesterday. The poll has some results that might shock you... In spite of George W's attempts to paint the entire LGBT community as satanic baby stealers, the level of public support for gay rights is the highest it's been in 30 years.


There is still considerable public opposition to complete equality for gays, particularly with respect to marriage. However, after several years of lower support for gay rights, support is now springing back to the relatively high levels seen in 2003, just before the Supreme Court's June 26, 2003, decision striking down a Texas sodomy law. (According to Gallup trends, that ruling appeared to produce a backlash of public opposition to gay rights.)

The clearest example of the recent renewal in pro-gay rights attitudes comes from a question asking Americans whether they believe homosexual relations should be legal. Public tolerance for this aspect of gay rights expanded from 43% at the inception of the question in 1977 to 60% in May 2003. Then in July 2003, it fell to 50% and remained at about that level through 2005. Last year, it jumped to 56% and this year it reached 59%, similar to the 2003 high point.

Now, I'll be the first to admit I'm no statistician, but these look like darn good numbers to me! (Especially the fact that 46% of Americans think that same-sex marriage should be legal. 53% oppose, so that means 1% is undecided. 1%. Wow.) It's fascinating how Lawrence v Texas took public opinion ratings down for us, even though the vast majority of heterosexuals also engage in sodomy of some sort or another... You didn't see support for blowjobs drop, did you? Hmmmm.....

Be sure to read the entire report if statistics and polls are your thing. Maybe some of you that intimately know about polling in your home states can tell us how they correlate with this report.

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Be sure to read the entire report if statistics and polls are your thing.
I don't know about statistics, but, yes, poles are my thing. Love me some pole.

I wonder how many of the "no"s are people who think that homosexuality should not be considered an "alternative lifestyle" at all?

I'm not surprised by the number of undecideds for gay marriage being so low - it's a really easily identifiable issue without many options that's taken up way more ink than it really should be. Honestly I can't understand how some people vote just to oppose gay marriage when there are so many other issues out there that are important, but since they are that means that everyone's heard enough of it.

Like I said, I'm no statistician so take my opinions with a grain of salt...

But the small undecided group caught me by surprise. I know a lot of local folks that have been going after "the mushy middle" as a complete strategy. If that mushy middle isn't a large segment of people then the strategy needs to be adjusted quickly! I would never have imagined it to be that polarizing, honestly. I know the right wing has had a field day painting this as a religion vs heathens issue, but it amazes me that so many people would fall on either one side or the other. You always have the "I dunno..." folks, so where are they on this? I'm shocked that they're missing in this poll.

But there's a lot of information in the survey other than just marriage (which, as you say, has taken up much more ink than it should). The graph I posted above, for example, shows a dramatic up-tick in public acceptance. I remember 1992 vividly and while I was out and proud then, I can also remember people who wouldn't put a rainbow sticker on their car even though they were out. They didn't want to get bashed. In a lot of areas, that mentality has vanished completely inside of that 23% difference.

I don't know why, but the term "alternative lifestyle" really gets me. Just think it sounds so condescending....

So gambling, divorce, people having sex outside of marriage and having babies out of wedlock are morally acceptable? It's interesting to see how society has changed. And they think that homosexual marriage will be the cause of heterosexuals' marriages falling apart? Give me a break!!!! Aghhhhhhhhhhhhh