Ahead of same-sex marriage decisions, what you need to know
The Supreme Court is expected to rule imminently on two laws seeking to block same-sex marriage — the federal Defense of Marriage Act and California’s Proposition 8. Here’s a summary of major findings related to homosexuality, marriage and society, drawn mostly from the Pew Research Center’s multi-part series of reports, “LGBT in Changing Times”:
Public opinion on same-sex marriage
14% — Share of American public who say they’ve changed their minds and now favor same-sex marriage.
72% — Percentage of Americans who say legal recognition of same-sex marriage is inevitable, regardless of whether they support or oppose it.
5-to-1 — Ratio of news stories this spring containing more statements supporting same-sex marriage to stories with more statements opposing it.
Public acceptance of homosexuality
+11 — Percentage-point increase in the share of Americans who say society should accept homosexuality (from 49% in 2004 to 60% earlier this year).
88% — Percentage saying so in Spain (the most accepting among 39 countries surveyed)
1% — Percentage saying so in Nigeria (the least accepting country surveyed).
92% — Percentage of LGBT adults in America who say society has become more accepting of them over the past 10 years.
92% — Percentage of LGBT adults who say society will be even more accepting 10 years from now.
10 — Median age at which gay men in America said they first thought they might be gay.
15 — Median age at which they knew for sure.
13 — Median age at which American lesbians said they first thought they might be lesbian.
18 — Median age at which they knew for sure.
39% — Percentage of U.S. lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender adults who say they’ve been rejected by a friend or family member at some point in their lives because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.
6% — Percentage who say this has happened in the past year.
48% — Percentage of LGBT adults who don’t identify with any particular religion (versus 20% of the U.S. general public).
56% — Percentage of LGBT adults who identify as Democrats (versus 8% as Republicans)
Desire for marriage
56% — Percentage of unmarried gay men in America who say they’d like to get married someday.
58% — Percentage of unmarried U.S. lesbians who say they would.
45% — Percentage of unmarried bisexuals who say they would.
Drew DeSilver is a Senior Writer at the Pew Research Center.