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62% of Americans in Favor of Same-sex Marriage
(Blogmensgo, gay blog of August 29, 2016) According to an opinion poll by PRRI published on August 28, 2016, 62% of Americans are in favor of gay marriage, and only 30% are opposed to it. In August of 2015, 53% were for and 39% were against it. About three quarters of all respondents (72%) are for laws against discrimination of LGBT persons whereas 23% are against such laws.
The PRRI poll evaluates the political and societal situation in America 11 weeks before the presidential elections of November 2016 with a particular focus on political opinion, religious convictions and perception of gays, lesbians, bi- and transsexuals. This article mostly looks at homosexuality and Americans’ opinion of it.
YES to gay marriage
Over the past five years, acceptance of same-sex marriage increased from 48% (in August 2011) to 62%. Consequently, the percentage of opponents decreased from 46% to 30%.
Despite this trend reversal, the subject is highly divisive: It divides people on a political scale because 73% of democrats are for but only 49% of republicans are against gay marriage.
However, the divide is also apparent when looking at religious convictions: Atheists, agnostics and non-Christians are mostly in favor of gay marriage (about 80%). Around two thirds of Catholics (68%) and non-evangelic Protestants (66%) are also for same-sex marriage. However, black Protestants (40%) and white evangelical Protestants (59%) are mostly against it.
Conciliatory religious convictions
About 41% of Americans today consider gay marriage as opposed to their religious convictions, compared to 51% in 2013.
As the infographic above shows, this is an average value. The numbers are higher for white evangelical Protestants and black Protestants.
Better social and political acceptance
About 65% of all respondents today consider gay marriage socially acceptable, compared to 51% in 2011. Only 23% consider it not acceptable (43% in 2011).
Gay marriage today has a strong political impact. No less than 44% (or even 56% of democrats) say they would not vote for a candidate who is opposed to gay marriage.
No to anti-LGBT discrimination
Almost three quarters of the respondents (72%) are for legal provisions against LGBT-based discrimination with respect to the workplace and housing, and only 23% are against such provisions.
Should merchants or restaurant owners be allowed to reject serving LGBT customers based on their religious beliefs? Almost two thirds (63%) of all respondents (about 80% of democrats) consider such reasons as illegitimate but 30% consider them as legitimate.
Only the white evangelical Protestants are strongly divided on this question. A large majority of the other religions is against any homophobic discrimination based on religious reasons.
Discrimination of transgender people for bathroom use
Recent laws prohibiting transgender persons from using public bathrooms that do not correspond to their sex at birth have been quite controversial. 53% are against such laws but 35% are for them.
Once again, there is a strong correlation with political convictions.
What exactly is discrimination?
According to PRRI, there is a gap between actual discrimination and its perception – similar as for racism.
The perception of discrimination against certain groups (like LGBT, blacks or immigrants) is much stronger for democrats (75-80%) than for republicans (only about 47%) who seem to just deny it.
Another interesting fact is that about 80% of all respondents do not know that there is no American federal law against discrimination at the workplace based on sexual orientation, and only 14% are aware of this.
Methodology: Telephone poll of a representative and randomly selected sample of 2014 Americans of 18 years or older, performed by the Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI) from August 10 to 16, 2016. Depending on the respondent, the questionnaire was administered in English or Spanish.