Research released Monday on national attitudes regarding LGBT rights finds a slim majority in favor of marriage equality, yet a solid consensus on employment protections and adoption rights.
People in areas of the country with the least LGBT protections also appear to be more progressive than their elected officials, according to the recent survey, conducted by Anna Greenberg of Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research and commissioned by the Human Rights Campaign. Seventy-three percent of respondents in the South, for example, said they support employment protections for LGBT people, even though the vast majority of the region lacks state statutes banning such discrimination (78% of Midwest residents polled also support employment protections).
The national survey of 900 adults found 51% support for marriage rights; 58% further favor extending equal federal benefits to same-sex couples who have married in states where it's legal to do so. (Click here for a poll summary.)
Perhaps most topical, given recent news on the 2012 presidential campaign trail, the survey found that only 24% of those polled believed that prayer-focused "reparative therapy" could change a person’s sexual orientation.
Widespread dismissal of the controversial form of therapy tracks consensus in the medical and mental health establishments: The American Psychological Association, for example, passed a 2009 resolution advising mental health professionals to avoid telling clients that sexual orientation can be changed through therapeutic methods.