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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

1289Comments
Jun 8, 2012 1:35AM
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I am not gayphoebic or weird.  But I'm not jumping on the bandwagon because more are.  It's still something that's wrong according to a higher authority in writing.  People/society may change but God's standards don't.  I like the individuals.  I know and am very fond of some who are gay.  They are so nice.   But the lifestyle is what's not liked, not the individual.  It's still wrong.
Jun 8, 2012 1:34AM
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Is this article what MSN calls reporting?  This is a full out endorsement of the homosexual lifestyle.  And since when did disagreeing with someone = hate?
Jun 8, 2012 1:32AM
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I like it when the idiots say Gays are not normal...

Just remember

 

Chrisians are not normal...most people are not Christians

White People are not normal...most people are not White

Republicans are not Normal...Most people are not Republicans

Men are not normal...most people are not men

 

Normal?  Nah you are not Normal you idiot, you are just simple average...

 

By the way I am a White Christian Ex-Republican Gay Man

 

Jun 8, 2012 1:32AM
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Normal is a subjective term.  Nothing is normal.  We all should try to do the best with the cards we are dealt...

The greatest of all gifts has been that this country educates everyone.  Without this we are no better off than the oppressive nations that do not allow all of the people in their country to be educated.

Then we throw it all away by letting prejudices guide us...

Man is stupid, hypocritical, small minded, foolish, etc.

and that's just the republicants...lmao

Jun 8, 2012 1:32AM
Jun 8, 2012 1:31AM
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Was this science or the spin of MSNBC? Sounds more like a left wing dream piece than reality.
Jun 8, 2012 1:30AM
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Gays and lesbians both are falling for the counterfeit substitute for the real thing. Their relationships will never find equality with traditional marriages any place other than in misguided laws they propose.
Jun 8, 2012 1:28AM
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I used to think I didn't like gay people, but over time I came to realize it was just the stereotype that I don't like. The ones who don't fit the gay stereotype are usually fine.
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