Thursday, June 10, 2010

Poll: 77% of Americans Know Someone Who is Gay or Lesbian

It's Pride Month, that time of year when major TV networks try to get you to forget that their depiction of the LGBT community is seriously lacking the rest of the year. And what better way to do it than to use their news division to do some polling about an issue that's already been proven: straight people who know queer people are less bigoted towards us.

CBS News reports:
Seventy-seven percent of Americans now say they know someone who is gay or lesbian, a new CBS News poll finds - an increase of 35 percentage points since 1992, when a majority of Americans said they did not.
More than six in ten Americans say they have a close friend, work colleague or relative who is gay or lesbian. Just 22 percent say they do not know anyone at all who falls into that category.
The increasing visibility of gay and lesbian Americans appears to have contributed toward more positive perceptions of homosexual relations.Forty-three percent of Americans currently see homosexual relations between consenting adults as "wrong" - a drop of 19 percentage points from a Gallup poll taken in 1978.
There has been a slight decrease in the percentage of Americans who do not object to homosexual relations compared to January of last year, when 54 percent said they are not wrong. But nearly half (48 percent) still say they see nothing wrong with homosexual relations, an increase of 23 points from the 1978 poll.
Americans under 30 tend not to object to homosexual relations, while those over 65 are likely to disapprove of them. Democrats, liberals and (to a lesser extent) independents and moderates generally do not disapprove, while Republicans and conservatives generally do.

Those who know someone who is gay or lesbian are less likely to disapprove of homosexual relations than those who do not. More than half of those who know someone who is homosexual do not see homosexual relations between consenting adults as wrong. On the flip side, more than half of those who don't know anyone who is homosexual say such relations are wrong.
The last two decades were dedicated to greater visibility, that's when polls started showing that visibility equals greater acceptance. It's good to see this strategy paying off. But it's time that we started using this greater acceptance to demand more action on our issues, including getting better coverage in the mainstream media.

TV's only close to realistic depiction of our lives comes from the ABC sitcom "Modern Family" and its characters Cameron and Mitchell who have adopted a daughter. But while other couples on the show are allowed to kiss, the gays are only allowed hugs.

I think it betrays a certain network lack of understanding that no one ever looks suspiciously at two men raising a baby. There have been stories for years of gay and lesbian couples being stopped by airport security, school administrators, police or even busy-body strangers on the street asking them for legal proof of their parental status. Straight parents never have to go through this invasion of privacy and public humiliation, but queer parents know that they always have to carry copies of legal documents in case of an emergency, like going to the mall.

While it is a sign of progress that a major news organization like CBS News would devote this much time, effort and resources into covering attitudes toward our community, where is their ENDA coverage? Where is any mainstream news coverage of the foot-dragging, lip service and lack of follow-through from this administration on the promises made to us? Where is their coverage of just much we have to get done this summer before the mid-term elections in the fall?

Stay tuned for more news and film at 11.
Enhanced by Zemanta

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please keep comments relevant and civil. Comments attacking other people will be deleted.

Subscribe in a reader