PEW RESEARCH CENTER RESOURCES
Public Opinion on Homosexuality
The Supreme Court ruled earlier this week that the First Amendment protects the right of the Westboro Baptist Church to conduct anti-gay protests at military funerals. The church maintains that military deaths are God's punishment for the country's tolerance of homosexuality. The Pew Research Center has conducted a number of public opinion surveys that provide indicators of the public's views on homosexuality.
Among the findings in a poll released yesterday by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press is that support for same-sex marriage has continued to rise since 2009. Currently, 45% say they favor allowing gays and lesbians to marry legally while 46% are opposed. In Pew Research Center surveys conducted in 2010, 42% favored and 48% opposed gay marriage. In 2009, just 37% backed same-sex marriage while 54% were opposed. Go to the report »
A December 2010 Pew Research Center poll asked respondents about their views on gays in the military. By a greater than two-to-one margin, the public favored allowing gays and lesbians to serve openly in the armed forces (59% favor vs. 23% oppose). Go to the report »
A December 2009 Pew Research Center poll found that the public was divided over whether wider acceptance of gays and lesbians is a good or bad trend. Overall, 38% said increasing acceptance of gays and lesbians has been a change for the better, 28% said it has been a change for the worse and 28% said it has made no difference. Go to the report »
A summer 2009 poll by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life and the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press found that nearly half of Americans (49%) said homosexual behavior is "morally wrong," while 9% said it is "morally acceptable." Just over a third (35%) said homosexual behavior is "not a moral issue." Go to the report »