Gallup released results form its annual Values and Beliefs poll this week in which 64% Americans ? a record level ? voiced support for no longer criminalizing gay relationships.
The poll, conducted May 5-8, also asked if respondents believed those relationships to be morally acceptable. While lower than the previous figure, a new record level of support was found at 56%, the highest it has been since the question was first introduced in 2001.
The same poll also saw a majority of Americans say they favor allowing same-sex couples to marry with support at 53%. Learn more here.
Americans remain divided on what causes same-sex orientation with 42% saying they believe upbringing and environment causes homosexuality, while 40% put it down to a quality a person was born with. However, this is a marked change from before 2001 where a majority reported homosexuality was a product of the environment in which a person is raised.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, there was more support for legal recognition of same-sex couples among Americans that said homosexuality was innate. They were also more likely to report that they view same-sex relationships to be morally sound.
The poll found that Democrats are more likely to believe people are born gay or lesbian, and therein are inclined to believe that same-sex relationships are morally acceptable and therefore should be legal. Support broke down as 51% of Democrats believing homosexuality is innate compared with 41% of Independents and 28% of Republicans.
Gallup concludes that Americans are at a record level of acceptance for gay and lesbian couples. As such, If the trends continue and political leaders are responsive to public opinion on the issue, one would expect more states and the federal government to expand the legal rights of gays and lesbians, including the right to legally marry.
Results for this Gallup poll are based on telephone interviews conducted May 5-8, 2011, with a random sample of 1,018 adults, aged 18 and older, living in all 50 US states and the District of Columbia. The poll has a margin of error of +/- 4 percentage points.
You can find out more and view the full methodology, full question results and poll data here.
gallup, sexuality, civil rights, marriage equality, gay rights, lgbt rights, innate sexuality, environmental factors in sexuality, party affiliation and sexuality