The Pulse of Equality survey conducted
by Harris Interactive reveals huge gains for gays and lesbians in the
areas of adoption, open service in the military and recognition of
The survey released today and
commissioned by the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation
(GLAAD) shows a majority of Americans disagree with discrimination
Over 2,000 adults over the age of 18
were contacted between November 13-17 by telephone for the 15 minute
A large majority (75%) favor legal
recognition of gay unions (either marriage or civil unions/domestic
partnership), with only about 2 in 10 (22%) preferring no recognition
at all. Gay marriage was supported by nearly half of the respondents
(47% favor to 49% oppose). Evangelical Christians are most likely to
opposed gay marriage (71%).
Support for the military's ban on gay
personnel serving openly continues to deteriorate. The survey found
nearly two-thirds (64%) of adults favor allowing gays and lesbians to
serve openly in the armed forces. Currently, gays are not allowed to
serve in the military openly, but over 100 retired generals and
admirals recently called for an end to the fifteen-year-old policy
known as “don't ask, don't tell” and signed into law by former
President Bill Clinton. President-elect Barack Obama says he
supports repeal of the gay ban.
And nearly 7 out of 10 adults (69%)
oppose laws banning gay couples from fostering or adopting children.
Arkansas voters created such a
prohibition on Election Day when they agreed that only married
couples may foster or adopt a child. Gay marriage is forbidden in
the state. Adoption by gays and lesbians is prohibited in Florida,
but a judge there recently ruled the law unconstitutional and gave a
gay couple custody of two children they had fostered for four years.
Gay advocates said the positive results
were a direct result of increased visibility.
“The visibility of the past several
years, and the intense conversations of the past few weeks, seem to
have galvanized a majority of American's support for equality for gay
and transgender Americans,” said GLAAD President Neil G. Giuliano.
“Majorities of Americans clearly
favor equality for gay and transgender people,” Giuliano added,
“but we've seen that too many still mistakenly believe that the
intolerance and injustice we face are things of the past. So it's
more vital than ever that we tell our stories, illustrate the
injustices we face, and remind people of the common ground we share.”