The Pulse of Equality: A Snapshot of U.S. Perspectives on LGBT People and Policies

GLAAD released a new survey conducted by Harris Interactive in the wake of the passage of and protests against California's Proposition 8. The survey reveals that majorities of Americans favor a broad range of policies and legal protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people.

Here are the survey's key findings:

  • Three-quarters of U.S. adults (75%) favor either marriage or domestic partnerships/civil unions for gay and lesbian couples.  Only about two in 10 (22%) say gay and lesbian couples should have no legal recognition. (Gay and lesbian couples are able to marry in two states, and comprehensive civil union or domestic partnership laws exist in only five others and the District of Columbia.)
  • U.S. adults are now about evenly divided on whether they support allowing gay and lesbian couples to legally marry (47% favor to 49% oppose).
  • Almost two-thirds (64%) of U.S. adults favor allowing openly gay military personnel to serve in the armed forces. (The current "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" law bans military service by openly gay personnel.)
  • About six in 10 (63%) U.S. adults favor expanding hate crime laws to cover gay and transgender people. (Hate crimes laws cover gay and transgender people in 11 states and the District of Columbia, and an additional - 20 states' laws cover sexual orientation but not gender identity.)
  • A slight majority of U.S. adults (51%) favor protecting gay and transgender people under existing laws that prohibit discrimination in employment, housing, and public accommodations. (Existing non-discrimination laws cover gay and transgender people in only 12 states and the District of Columbia, and eight other states' laws cover sexual orientation but not gender identity.)
  • Nearly seven out of 10 U.S. adults (69%) oppose laws that would ban qualified gay and lesbian couples from adopting children. (In several states, gay and lesbian couples are banned from adopting.)

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