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Born this way: Majority of Americans say being gay is not a choice

Born this way: Majority of Americans say being gay is not a choice

PRINCETON, N.J. — A new Gallup poll released Wednesday finds that, for the first time, a majority of Americans say same-sex orientation is something gays and lesbians are born with, rather than something that is determined by their upbringing or environment.

Over the past 15 years, Americans had been much more closely divided on the issue. And in the 1970s and 1980s, majorities attributed same-sex orientation to environmental factors rather than innate characteristics.


The current results are based on a May 6-10 Gallup poll that updates several long-standing trend questions on gay and lesbian rights. The poll also finds a new high in support for same-sex marriage.


In addition to their changing views on the origins of being gay or lesbian, Americans’ views on the morality of same-sex relations have also shifted in recent years. Currently, a record-high 63% of Americans describe gay or lesbian relations as “morally acceptable.” That became the majority view in 2010. Only a decade ago, a majority thought same-sex relations were morally wrong.

Full survey results at Gallup →

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