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Gallup Gay Twofer: Marriage and Identity

Gallup recently released results from two polls; they surveyed Americans on support for same-gender marriage, and on how many identify as LGBT.

More Americans Than Ever Support Same-Sex Marriage
QUEER VOICES 05/23/2018 03:17 pm ET
By Antonia Blumberg
©2018 Oath Inc. All rights reserved.
Source; excerpts follow (drill down for hyperlinked references):
Gallup report (drill down for graphs)


In spite of enduring threats to LGBTQ rights in the U.S., a recent poll found that Americans overall are more supportive of same-sex marriage than ever before.

Gallup's annual Values and Morals poll, conducted May 1 through 10 and released on Wednesday, found that 67 percent of Americans surveyed said same-sex marriage should be legally valid.

That's up 40 percentage points from 1996, when Gallup first asked the question, and it is the highest level of support on record…

Activists have noted, though, that despite the steady rise in popular support, same-sex marriage faces very real and persistent threats. Fewer than half the Republicans polled — 44 percent — said gay marriage should be legal, according to Gallup. Other polls have found support to be even lower among the most conservative Republicans and Christian evangelicals, who dominate the GOP base, which President Donald Trump has catered to since declaring his candidacy. From signing discriminatory "religious liberty" orders to banning transgender people from the military, Trump and social conservatives have found ways to challenge LGBTQ rights…

As HuffPost editor-at-large Michelangelo Signorile warned, "The greater threat in the short term than outright overturning Obergefell is the effort to turn same-sex marriage into second-class marriage."

Some cities and states have thrown into question whether same-sex couples should receive spousal benefits, be allowed to adopt children and have both spouses' names listed on birth certificates.

Despite such obstacles, the percentage of LGBTQ Americans in a same-sex marriage has steadily grown since the Supreme Court ruling. As of June 2017, when Gallup last released findings on the topic, just over 10 percent of adult gay and lesbian Americans said they were married to their partner…

Links to the article and topic-poll are above; here is a link to the 2017 Gallup survey regarding the percentage of LGBT Americans in same-gender marriages (and other types of relationships).

I wonder how many folks in the US are still reluctant to self-identify as LGBT (notably to pollsters). I'm confident the percentage of those willing has increased dramatically during my lifetime (especially in the last decade or so), yet there may be millions more who decline to do so for various reasons. We're also supposedly entering a "post-gay" era (such as the "gender-queer" identity), wherein more folks respond to multiple choice queries with "none of the above" or "uncertain". There's nothing wrong with that per se, and I too hope for a world in which such things don't matter.

Unfortunately, in many places (including the US), numbers can influence political power and social support. Here is the second recent Gallup release:

In U.S., Estimate of LGBT Population Rises to 4.5%
Source; excerpts follow (drill down for hyperlinked references and graphs):
H/T: Joe.My.God


WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The percentage of American adults identifying as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT) increased to 4.5% in 2017, up from 4.1% in 2016 and 3.5% in 2012 when Gallup began tracking the measure. The latest estimate is based on over 340,000 interviews conducted as part of Gallup's daily tracking in 2017…

The expansion in the number of Americans who identify as LGBT is driven primarily by the cohort of millennials, defined as those born between 1980 and 1999. The percentage of millennials who identify as LGBT expanded from 7.3% to 8.1% from 2016 to 2017, and is up from 5.8% in 2012. By contrast, the LGBT percentage in Generation X (those born from 1965 to 1979) was up only .2% from 2016 to 2017. There was no change last year in LGBT percentage among baby boomers (born 1946 through 1964) and traditionalists (born prior to 1946)…

The LGBT percentage has risen among all race and ethnic groups since 2012, although not on an equal basis. Hispanics and Asians have seen the greatest increase, thus contributing the most on a relative basis to the uptick in LGBT identification nationwide. Whites and blacks have seen the least change…

LGBT identification is more common among those with lower incomes, as has been the case consistently since 2012. The income gap is larger this year than it has been, with 6.2% of those making less than $36,000 a year in household income identifying as LGBT, compared with 3.9% of those making $90,000 or more. There are no major differences in LGBT identification by educational attainment, although the percentage of postgraduates who self-reported as LGBT is slightly lower than those with less formal education…

I think one way to look at this is that those who have the most to lose are becoming more confident. In ethnic groups, there may be cultural expectations and stigmata. For those with lower income and educational attainment, there may have been more reluctance due to job-prospects and -security. And for younger folks… well… many of us at that age were uncertain about our place in society, and somehow "fitting in" (or even "passing") was more important than it is now (with more widespread support).

Finally, I'm sure there are a few old-timers out there whose knees are a'jerking and are ready to burst out with: "What about the TEN PERCENT?!!! 'They' have been saying TEN PERCENT! So that was a LIE?!"

If any of these old-timers are also Trump supporters, then shame on you for your selective morality; Trump lies more often than most of us urinate. And if you're a subscriber to the post-fact media bubble, then double-shame on you.

The 1-in-10 figure was a misinterpretation of Kinsey data from a book he published in 1948, 70-years ago. He never said that 10% of men were homosexual; he found that 10% of his albeit convenience sample were: "more or less exclusively homosexual" in the last 3-years. Since incarcerated men were largely over-represented in his sample, this should not surprise us. Back then, this was groundbreaking research because respectable folks didn't talk about sex. (That's still an etiquette rule BTW.) So, no; 10-percent of adults are not sexual minorities, except on certain college campuses.


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