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Saluting the Rainbow Flag

Gay acceptance in America is trending up

By Rich_Maloof Jun 7, 2012 5:04PM

Photo: Lisa Stokes/Flickr/Getty ImagesWhen President Obama said in a speech last night that the U.S. has seen a "constant progression toward including more and more people in the American dream," his opponents were quick to charge him with pandering to the evening's audience. His campaign stop at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel ballroom was, after all, sponsored by deep-pocketed gay and lesbian donors. 

But the results of a CNN poll released just yesterday bear him out: American acceptance of gay lifestyle is on the rise.

Of course, not everyone thinks the country's LGBT contingent is hands-down fabulous. But attitudes are clearly becoming more inclusive. For the first time ever, the poll suggests, a majority of Americans say they have a close friend or family member who is gay. Just 49% said so, or admitted it, two years ago; but in yesterday's poll, 60% replied in the affirmative. The survey also indicated a growing acceptance of same-sex marriage. 

Have a look at the complete poll results, which break down results by race, education level, political affiliation, and other factors. To an extent, we're divided along predictable lines: 70% of Dems say same-sex marriages should be recognized by the law as valid, while 72% of Republicans surveyed were opposed. There's an age divide as well, with nearly two thirds under age 50 favoring legal same-sex marriage and almost as many over age 50 opposed. It's striking how gay issues are so polarizing even as acceptance broadens. But don't prejudge your conservative elderly neighbor with the framed picture of Reagan on his mantel. Then you'd be the one guilty of bias. There's still room in those stats for him to be enjoying Will & Grace re-runs behind the shades.

The poll doesn't say why, who, how, or what has changed American attitudes. Could we be getting smarter? Well, let's not jump the gun. But there has been a slow and steady cultural push against ignorance in recent years. Minds aren't easily changed by loud opposition and foot-stomping marches, though soap-box advocates play an important part in swinging the pendulum from right to left. Attitudes settle more comfortably in the middle when great role models -- not good models of gay life, necessarily, but gay people who model a good life -- emerge in America's boardrooms, in houses of worship, on our TV screens, and in our neighborhoods. 

America may not yet have made a wholesale change in attitude toward the gay community. But we're evolving.

Photo: Lisa Stokes/Flickr/Getty Images

1294Comments
Jun 8, 2012 1:43AM
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I AGREE WITH ALL OF YOU ...THIS IS AN ABOMINATION...GOD HATES ****!!! IF WE  ALLOW THIS TO CONTINUE THESE PENUS SUCKING BASTERDS ARE GOING TO COME INTO OUR HOMES AND FORNICATE ON OUR KITCHEN TABLES...AMERICAN FAMILIES WILL BE DESTROYED ALL MEN WILL BECOME GAY AND WE WILL HALF TO KNEEL INFRONT OF OUR NEW GAY GOD ...ALA.. THATS RIGHT THIS IS NOT THE CRAZY RANT OF A RETARDED REDNECK JESUS FREAK ...oo yes and we will be sodomized by muslim space alians and and ummm o right.. and america will be destroyed by borack obamas whatever ..you people are idiots and thank god you are soon going to be relics ...becuase people like you are the same who fought for slavery and against civil rights. you guys are two screws away from becoming  the uni bomber himself, but your days are numbered history only allows for progression not regression, and people like you people ..will be seen as a dark stain in american history...for homosexuals ...i apologize for the word fag i just wanted to make a point

Jun 8, 2012 1:43AM
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There is a very good reason why the percentages are increasing...its because more and more people feel comfortable enough not to hide their identity.  Its very hard to try and play a role which is not truly reflective of who you are.   Its like being on a first date all your life. You try to do things which you believe are acceptable under the circumstances...try to decide if you can trust others not to reject you when they figure out that you are a little different than they are.  You can't talk about your personal life when your not out of the closet...simple things like the movie you went to see with your live in partner.. you could lose your job.  But things are changing.. its because they are everywhere..in your family, in your workplace, in your church and your neighborhood.  It is estimated that there are about 10% of the population is gay or lesibian..maybe slightly more. Since recorded history, there have been homosexuals.  God seems to be continueing to create them , so it must be normal or at least a normal variation of the human being. As a more people come out and live their lives in a live and let live manner, then the percentage will grow even higher. Good news - I don't know any gays or lesibians who are trying to convert anyone.. much less force some life style on to someone else. Most just want to be accepted for who they are and be allowed to marry who they choose, to be a part of a famliy, raise families to the best of their abilities, contribute to their communities, work hard at their jobs, to be a friend when one is needed and just be good people. Isn't that what everyone wants?
Jun 8, 2012 1:42AM
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Could we be getting smarter? Apparently not . Homosexuality is is a malfunction in the brain and not the so praised personal preferance .

People need to to grow a pair and call it what it is ........... a Handicap!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

Jun 8, 2012 1:41AM
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Since when does acceptance of a morally corrupt lifestyle indicate that people are getting smarter?
Jun 8, 2012 1:38AM
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I believe the title of this article is misleading as with all MSN articles.  Acceptance isn't on the rise as much as people prefer not to state their opinions for fear of being branded a hater.  Just like pot in California.  Everybody was for it until it came to an ananymous vote.  Then guess what, it lost.  Just sayin.     
Jun 8, 2012 1:37AM
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Yea! As it should! To all you bigoted, hateful, brainwashed, intolerant, narrow-minded people that have made horrible anti-gay comments here: Times are changing...acceptance and tolerance is growing, whether you like it or not. People are becoming more evolved and intelligent AND realize people are people and all people deserve equal rights.There is good and bad in this world and sexual orientation has nothing to do with it...so, stop being so scared and hateful. GAYS AND LESBIANS simply will not tolerate the hatred and discrimination anymore. So get with the times or crawl back under your rock....We are sick and tired of hearing your hatred and judgement. Thank you. EQUAL RIGHTS FOR ALL!!!
Jun 8, 2012 1:37AM
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I say give it about 10 years and we'll find out just who really is gay and who thinks that being gay is cool.
Jun 8, 2012 1:37AM
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Thank God something is finally making sense in this world. People who are commenting on this disagreeing: why did you bother reading the article? Take your negativity elsewhere.
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