Gallup: Changed Hearts and Minds in Faith Communities Central to LGBT Rights

Recent Gallup Polls show that most Americans are optimistic about the future of LGBT rights, but see discrimination towards gays and lesbians as a serious problem. Those who oppose same gender marriage most often cite biblical or religious teachings as the reason for their opposition.

As expressed in MLP News, until hearts and minds are transformed and catch up to legislative changes like Amendment 10-A, MLP and our friends at The Covenant Network, Presbyterian Welcome, That All May Freely Serve and other progressive organizations all have important work left to do.

Gallup asked the question, How serious a problem do you think discrimination against gays and lesbians is in this country?

Sixty-three percent of Americans describe discrimination against gays and lesbians as a “very” or “somewhat serious” problem in the United States. Americans who identify themselves as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender (LGBT) are even more likely to see discrimination as a serious problem, at 88%.

In another poll, Gallup asked the open ended question, What are some of the reasons why you oppose legal same-sex marriage?

Americans who oppose the legalization of same-sex marriage, 46% of the adult population, are most likely to explain their position on the basis of religious beliefs and/or interpretation of biblical passages dealing with same-sex relations.

Other reasons given by those who oppose same-sex marriage include the conviction that marriage should be only between a man and a woman and the view that same-sex marriage is morally wrong or against traditional beliefs. Smaller percentages say that civil unions should be sufficient, that same-sex marriage is unnatural or against the laws of nature, or that same-sex marriage would undermine the traditional family structure.

Gallup correlated the two polls by concluding:

Thus, consensus on gay marriage and other gay rights issues may depend on whether Republicans and those opposed to gay marriage on religious grounds hold firm to their current beliefs or follow the growing societal trend toward greater tolerance, acceptance, and equality for gays and lesbians.