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.
Gallup’s annual Values and Beliefs survey, conducted each May, documents a gradual increase in public acceptance of gay relations since about 2006. However, the change is seen almost exclusively among men, and particularly men younger than 50.
The same May 3-6 Gallup poll finds the slight majority of Americans still against legalizing gay marriage; however, at 53%, the extent of that opposition is down slightly this year.
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Americans remain closely divided over the factors contributing to being gay. Currently, 37% say being gay is due to upbringing and environment while 36% say it is a trait one is born with.
There is a gradual cultural shift under way in Americans’ views toward gay individuals and gay rights, reports Gallup. While public attitudes haven’t moved consistently in gays’ and lesbians’ favor every year, the general trend is clearly in that direction.
This year, the shift is apparent in a record-high level of the public seeing gay and lesbian relations as morally acceptable. Meanwhile, support for legalizing gay marriage, and for the legality of gay and lesbian relations more generally, is near record highs.