Gay Americans report more acceptance, room for progress: survey

Same-sex weddings in Rhode Island will be permitted starting Aug. 1, 2013. (Google Images)
 (Google Images)

The vast majority of U.S. lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender adults say society has become more accepting of them in the past decade, according to a poll billed as the first-ever major survey of its kind in America.

However, although 92 percent of those asked saw progress, many said bias remained common, according to the Pew Research Center’s report released on Thursday.

Two in 10 people said they have been treated unfairly by an employer because of their sexual orientation or gender identity, and three in 10 say they have been physically attacked or threatened. While six in 10 said there was some acceptance, two in 10 said there was a lot of social acceptance. Two in 10 said there was “no acceptance.”

“For LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) people, this is the best of times, but that doesn’t mean these are easy times or that their lives are uncomplicated,” said Paul Taylor, a co-author of the report and executive vice president of Pew.

The survey comes at a time when American society is experiencing a sea change in attitudes.

A Pew survey released last week found that over half of Americans favor giving gays and lesbians the right to marry, while nearly three-quarters said legal recognition of gay marriage is “inevitable.”

Twelve states and Washington, D.C., have legalized same-sex marriage, including six since last fall. The U.S. Supreme Court is expected to rule soon on a challenge to the Defense of Marriage Act, a 1996 law that restricted federal recognition of marriage to heterosexual couples, as well as a challenge to a 2008 California referendum that banned gay marriage in the state.

In 2011, President Barack Obama declared gays and lesbians would be able to serve openly in the military. The following year, he became the first sitting president to endorse same-sex marriage.

JOBS A MAJOR PRIORITY

Survey respondents were overwhelmingly supportive of extending marriage rights to same-sex couples, but some thought this had taken the focus away from other important issues.

Asked what issue should be a top policy priority, 57 percent named equal employment rights, while 53 percent said marriage.

Age 10 was the median age at which gay men first felt they might be something other than straight, while for lesbians and bisexuals, that came at age 13, the survey found.

Fifty-six percent said they discussed their sexual orientation or gender identity with their mother, while just 39 percent did so with their father. Most said the experience was difficult, but relatively few said it damaged their relationship.

Politically, eight in 10 respondents said they were Democrats or Democrat-leaning.

When asked whether the best way to achieve equality was by becoming part of mainstream culture or keeping a distinct culture, respondents were divided. Most – 56 percent – said it was important to maintain LGBT bars and neighborhoods, while 41 percent said this would become less important with time.

Gay men were most likely to say that distinctive venues should be maintained, with 68 percent taking that position.

The nationwide survey of 1,197 LGBT adults was administered online, a survey method that researchers say tends to produce more honest responses to sensitive questions. Bisexuals made up 40 percent of respondents, followed by gay men at 36 percent, lesbian women at 19 percent and transgender adults at 5 percent. The margin of error was plus or minus 4.1 percentage points.

Pew said that the report did not attempt to estimate the share of the U.S. population that is LGBT.

 



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

At 91, Marvel creator Stan Lee continues to…

By Piya Sinha-RoyLOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Marvel Entertainment's chief emeritus Stan Lee may be in his ninth decade, but it hasn't stopped him from adding…

National

Islamic State says beheads U.S. journalist, holds another

Islamic State insurgents released a video purportedly showing the beheading of U.S. journalist James Foley, who had gone missing in Syria nearly two years ago.

Local

VIDEO: NYPD seeks shooter in East New York…

Cops are on the lookout for an unknown shooter who aimed and missed hitting a man on a bicycle, instead nearly striking a nearby officer in East New York.

Local

NYS state forces thrift shops comply with ban…

Nine New York City thrift shops were reprimanded by the state attorney general for selling children's clothes with drawstrings around the neck and waist.

Movies

Interview: Robert Rodriguez doesn't mind that Jessica Alba…

In making a Hollywood-friendly adaptation of Frank Miller's gritty "Sin City" graphic novel series, Robert Rodriguez learned that some things have to go — namely…

Movies

Interview: Jessica Alba is a stripper again in…

Jessica Alba has gotten used to vague phone calls from director Robert Rodriguez, the Austin-based auteur who has made a habit of putting Alba into…

Television

TV watch list, Wednesday, Aug. 20: 'Extant,' 'Legends'…

See a two hour block of Halle Berry's scifi show, "Extant."

The Word

The Word: Mischa Barton in trouble, not that…

  People are really, really worried about Mischa Barton. Again. The former "O.C." star is reportedly in deep financial trouble and can't seem to get…

MLB

Shane Greene travels unlikely road to Yankees stardom

Shane Greene was throwing a bullpen session on a quiet field at Daytona Beach Community College one day when the ball started moving.

NFL

2014 Fantasy Football: Rankings, list of top NFL…

2014 Fantasy Football: Rankings, list of top NFL tight ends (TE)

MLB

MLB Power Rankings: Angels supplant A's, Nationals climb

MLB Power Rankings: Angels supplant A's, Nationals climb

NFL

David Wilson returns to triple jump, sets sights…

Giants fans know David Wilson can jump. They are just more used to seeing him go for backflips, not distance.

Parenting

Fun family activity: Off-Broadway show for pre-teens

"The Love Note" is an off-Broadway musical your pre-teen won't roll his or her eyes at.

Parenting

Barnes & Noble partners with Samsung to release…

Barnes & Noble releases the first full android tablet optimized for reading.

Style

11 timeless gifts for registries or just because

Gifts to prove you're a style maven once and for all.

Food

The Chic Wife tells us how to use…

Kris Schoels, aka The Chic Wife, grew up on a farm with peach trees. August is National Peach Month, but Kris Schoels doesn’t need a reason…