A new CBS News Poll suggests that gay and lesbian Americans may be changing the nation’s view of homosexuality. “Seventy-seven percent of Americans now say they know someone who is gay or lesbian,” an increase of 35 percentage points since 1992. Also, only 43% of Americans currently see homosexual relations between consenting adults as “wrong” – a drop of 19 percentage points from a Gallup poll taken in 1978:
- 84% of Americans under 30 know someone who is gay or lesbian, 66% of those over 65 say they do.
- 51% of Americans believe people are born homosexual - an increase of eight points from 1993. 36% say homosexuality is something people choose.
- 53% think it is necessary to have laws that protect gays and lesbians from discrimination in hiring and promotion. 43% do not.
A Gallup poll released last week also found 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.” “Notably, there has been a 16-point jump in acceptance among Catholics, nearly three times the increase seen among Protestants. Acceptance among Americans with no religious identity has expanded as well.”