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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, May 25, 2018 - Volume 46 Issue 21
New Gallup poll: Two-thirds of Americans OK with same-sex marriage, half say same-sex attraction is innate
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New Gallup poll: Two-thirds of Americans OK with same-sex marriage, half say same-sex attraction is innate

by Mike Andrew - SGN Staff Writer

Two-thirds of Americans are OK with same-sex marriage, according to a new poll by Gallup. Half of those surveyed also said they believe that same-sex attraction is something Lesbian, Gay, and Bi people are born with.

Gallup surveyed 1,024 US adults between May 1 and May 10 for its annual 'values and morals' poll.

The 67% who support same-sex marriage is the highest number achieved since Gallup began polling the issue in 1977.

Typical responses were highly correlated to political party affiliation. Eighty-three percent of self-identified Democrats said they support legally recognized same-sex marriage, compared to only 44% of Republican respondents.

Seventy-one percent of independents said they were in favor of legally recognized same-sex marriage.

Gallup said that the increased support for gay marriage could be the result of greater numbers of Lesbian, Gay, and Bi adults getting married in the US.

In 2017, Gallup revealed that around one in 10 Lesbian, Gay, or Bi adults were married to a same-sex partner.

'This means that Americans are more likely to know someone who has married a same-sex partner, and the visibility of these marriages may be playing a role in overturning some folks' previously held opposition to their legal status,' Gallup said.

The poll also showed that 50% of respondents think Gay, Lesbian, and Bi people are born with their sexuality. This is also the highest number seen in Gallup polling.

A further 10% of respondents said that they believed same-sex attraction is a trait that stems both from biological and environmental factors. Only 30% said same-sex attraction is due to environment or upbringing.

Some 4% of people attributed being Gay to 'something else,' and another 6% said they were 'unsure' what caused people to be Gay, Lesbian, or Bi.

According to Gallup, the results should be viewed in a positive light by the LGBT rights movement.

'The nature vs. nurture argument about the origins of sexual orientation has been an integral part of the gay rights debate over the years, and it is clear why,' Gallup said.

'Americans who believe gays and lesbians are born with their sexual orientation are much more supportive of gay rights than are those who say orientation is due to upbringing and environment.'

Like the marriage issue, responses to this question are highly correlated with political views. The research showed that left-leaning and nonreligious people - like college graduates, Democrats, and those who don't go to church - were more likely to support the view that being Gay is innate.

In contrast, those least likely to support this theory were those who classed themselves as Republicans (36%), conservatives (34%), and weekly churchgoers (36%).

'Americans have gradually moved toward the belief that being gay or lesbian is not 'caused' by upbringing and environmental factors but rather is a trait a person is born with,' said Gallup.

'This could have important implications for public support for gay rights, as those who believe nature has a hand in sexual orientation are much more likely to be sympathetic to affording gays equal rights in marriage.'

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