The Gallup organization on Friday released more findings from its annual Values and Beliefs poll, conducted May 5-8, and reported that U.S. adults, on average, estimate that 25% of Americans are gay or lesbian.
More specifically, over half of Americans (52 percent) estimate that at least one in five Americans are gay or lesbian, including 35 percent who estimate that more than one in four are. Thirty percent put the figure at less than 15 percent.
There is little reliable evidence about what percentage of the U.S. population is in reality gay or lesbian, but Demographer Gary Gates last month released a review of population-based surveys on the topic, estimating that 3.5% of adults in the United States identify as lesbian, gay, or bisexual, with bisexuals making up a slight majority of that figure.
Says Gallup: Americans perceive that there is a large U.S. gay population — one far larger than is likely reality. This suggests Americans have had even more exposure to gays and lesbians, be it in their personal lives or through entertainment or other means, and that Americans’ estimates are based more on who they are — and perhaps whom they know — than on their worldview.
Combined with record support for legal gay relations and same-sex marriage, Gallup said it is clear that America’s gay population — no matter the size — is becoming a larger part of America’s mainstream consciousness.