Pew Poll: Adult LGBT Americans Optimistic About Future
AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:
Let's move on now to a sweeping survey here in the U.S. of gays, lesbians, bisexuals, and transgender adults. It reveals a community undergoing major change. LGBT adults say they're optimistic about increasing social acceptance.
But as NPR's Jennifer Ludden reports, many also describe stigma and rejection.
JENNIFER LUDDEN, BYLINE: Until just recently, demographers have had precious little information on this group. But with the debate over same-sex marriage and a Supreme Court ruling on it coming soon, pollsters are asking more questions. Today's survey is the first time the Pew Research Center has polled LGBT adults.
The Pew Research Center conducted this survey online, a mode shown to produce more honest answers on sensitive topics. Some respondents gave long, detailed accounts - an invaluable resource, says demographer Gates.
GATES: The lives of LGBT people are debated every day in this country - at ballot boxes, in legislatures, in the courts, in corporate boardrooms. And it seems to me only fair that the public have some information about who they are and how they experience the world.
STEVE MAJORS: It reaffirms what we know to be true, that our community, the LGBT community, is more alike than different than the general population.
LUDDEN: Steve Majors is with the Family Equality Council, which advocates for same-sex couples raising children. He says the survey shows LGBT people marry for the same reasons as straights, that legalizing same-sex marriage and adoption is a priority, along with equal rights in the workplace.
MAJORS: So this data is so important for us to be able to walk in to a lawmaker's office, in Mississippi, in Texas, to be able to say: We know that there are families out there in your community and here are their concerns.
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