When it comes to being friends with a gay person 40% of Americans say they don’t have any gay friends, even if they support same-sex marriage.
In a new CNN/ORC International survey the number of American’s who say they have a close friend or family member who is gay jumped from 49% in 2010 to 60% today. The new polling number is significantly hire than a similar poll in the 1990s in which most Americans said they did not know any gay people who were close to them.
CNN Polling Director Keating Holland reveals:
“Attitudes toward sexual orientation have also changed over that same time period. In 1998, a majority believed that someone who is gay or lesbian could change their sexual orientation if they choose to do so. Today, only a third feel that way, and the number who say that gays and lesbians cannot change their orientation is almost six in ten. Those shifts probably explain the growing acceptance of same-sex marriage.”
While 60% of respondents now acknowledge knowing a gay person only 54% believe gay and lesbian couples should be allowed to legally wed, while 42% oppose legalized marriage within the LGBT community.
As expected Democrats stood more firmly beside gay couples in the poll. Seven in ten Democrats and six in ten independent voters support same-sex marriages and believe they should be recognized as valid law, while 72% or Republicans oppose gay marriage.
The study also found that nearly 66% of the under 50 crowd supports gay marriage while 55% of those over 50 are opposed to same-sex marriage.
The poll included 1.009 adults who were questioned during a nationwide telephone survey. The study is believed to have a plus or minus sampling error of three percentage points.