However the authors below do not understand their own survey data and questions. The questions and answers show that Americans think gays should be free to speak and work. If you had some pro-regressive imposition of "civil rights" meaning affirmative action, quotas, regulations, employment law suits, violations of freedom of association, freedom of speech, property and contract rights of people who do not want to hire or live with or go to church with gays, you would probably see more antipathy to gays. This is one reason gays have become more "popular" than some of the other groups in this table who have used civil rights to violate freedom of association and smear people who oppose quotas and affirmative action.
The study finds a clear “trend toward greater tolerance regarding homosexuality,” and 46% of Americans supporting same-sex marriage, although this number is dramatically lower than the six other nationwide polls that have been introduced in the past year.
In fact, the NORC poll does exhibit some concerning technical issues, like the wording of its questions, which sound like something out of the 1970s, when some of the questions were first asked.
For instance, this segment within a group of questions:
And what about a man who admits that he is a homosexual.
- Suppose this admitted homosexual wanted to make a speech in your community. Should he be allowed to speak, or not?
- Should such a person be allowed to teach in a college or university, or not?
- If some people in your community suggested that a book he wrote in favor of homosexuality should be taken out of your public library, would you favor removing this book, or not?
Homosexuality is not something one “admits,” rather, it is something one “acknowledges,” at the very least.
But the good news is this, via a press release:
The rise in support for same-sex marriage has been especially dramatic over the last two decades. It went from 11 percent approval in 1988 to 46 percent in 2010, compared to 40 percent who were opposed, producing a narrow plurality in favor for the first time. The report is based on findings of the latest General Social Survey, conducted in 2010 with a cross sample of more than 2,000 people.“There is a large generation gap on the issue of same-sex marriage,” Smith said. While 64 percent of those under 30 back same-sex marriage, only 27 percent of those 70 and older support it.Acceptance of homosexuality in general also reflects the generational difference in opinion. In 2010, 26 percent of the people surveyed who were under 30 said they felt homosexual behavior is “always wrong,” while 63 percent of the people aged 70 and older held that opinion.As a result of the generational division, public attitudes are sharply divided on the issue. Although 44 percent of the people surveyed felt that sexual relations between two adults of the same sex is always wrong, another 41 percent thought such relations were “not wrong at all.”
However, the poll notes there’s still work to do:
“Just 11 percent were in the middle, saying it was either ‘almost always wrong’ or ‘wrong only sometimes,’” Smith said. “Public opinion is thus highly polarized on this issue, with few people sharing the middle ground.”