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Danny Heffernan, GLAAD: Two Recent Polls Find Growing Support for LGBT Community

Two Recent Polls Find Growing Support for LGBT Community
by Danny Heffernan, November 4, 2011

Two recent polls highlight growing support for the LGBT community. Results from a Pew Research Center survey of 2,410 adults show that 46 percent support marriage equality, compared to 44 percent who are opposed. Among respondents under 29 year of age, the support was even greater, with 59 percent in favor of marriage equality. The supportive population overall has grown significantly over the past few decades, with Pew results from 1996 showing only 26 percent in favor of marriage for lesbian and gay couples and 65 percent opposed. This shift is clear in other polling results as well. In August, GLAAD released an Eye On The Media highlighting the growing support for marriage equality across all political groups, as argued by Democrat and Republican pollsters Jan van Lohuizen and Joel Benenson. In their memo, released by Freedom to Marry, van Lohuizen and Benenson show a marked increase in support over the years in polls conducted by CNN, The Public Religion Research Institute, Quinnipiac, Gallup, ABC News, and The Washington Post. Similar trends were outlined in April by The New York Times. In September, a poll surveying 1,000 adults conducted by the Associated Press showed 53 percent believed the government should give legal recognition to the marriages of same-sex couples.

Another recent poll conducted by the Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI) found overwhelming support for  transgender equality. According to the poll results, which were taken from two surveys held in August and September respectively, 89 percent of respondents agreed that transgender people should receive the same legal protections as other Americans. This view was held in consistently high percentages across various religious and political affiliations. In addition, 75 percent of all respondents believed Congress should pass legislation extending employment protections to transgender individuals, and 74 percent approved Congress’ recent inclusion of gender identity and sexual orientation in federal hate crime laws.

GLAAD thanks the Pew Research Center and the Public Religion Research Institute for continuing to conduct these polls, and encourages media to reference the results of these polls when reporting on public opinion about LGBT issues.  Including this information can help ensure that coverage of LGBT issues remains fair, accurate, and inclusive.

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