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Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Support for Legal Gay Relations Hits New High

PRINCETON, NJ -- Gallup finds 64% of Americans saying gay or lesbian relations between consenting adults should be legal, the highest since it first asked the question more than 30 years ago.

The results are based on Gallup's annual Values and Beliefs poll, conducted May 5-8.

Americans' support for legal gay relations has been as low as 32%, in 1986, but increased to 47% by 1989 and went above the majority level in 2001 for the first time. After peaking at 60% in May 2003, public support dropped that same year, likely as a backlash against a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that struck down a Texas anti-sodomy law and gave gays and lesbians new legal protections in that state. By 2006, Americans returned to the more supportive level seen previously, and generally held there until the increase this year.

Americans are somewhat less likely to consider gay or lesbian relations to be morally acceptable than to say they should be legal. However, the 56% who consider gay or lesbian relations morally acceptable is the highest Gallup has measured since this question was first asked in 2001. (More at Gallup)

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