New Poll: Majority of Americans Oppose DOMA

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According to a recent survey conducted by The Center for American Progress, 53 percent of Americans support the repeal of the discriminatory so-called “Defense of Marriage Act.”

The poll shows an even greater majority of Americans no longer supporting section 3 of the act, which unfairly denies legally married same-sex couples the same rights and benefits as their straight counterparts.

According to the poll, 59 percent of Americans oppose section 3. Only 34 percent say they still support same-sex couple discrimination.

Race wise, the poll shows Blacks and Hispanics leading the way when it comes to opposing section 3. The poll says an overwhelming 65 percent of Black Americans surveyed oppose section 3, followed by 61 percent of Hispanic Americans. 57 percent of white Americans say they also oppose the measure.

A whopping 62 percent of all Americans surveyed say they believe DOMA is discrimination. Only 34 percent of Americans believe the  act is fair.

The nation’s highest court  will hear two days worth of oral arguments in cases challenging DOMA,  as well as California’s Prop 8 measure, next month.

The arguments are set for March 26th and 27th.

Click HERE to see the full survey.

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Poll: Major Decrease in those who consider Homosexuality a Sin

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According to a poll released this week by Southern Baptist-affiliated LifeWay Christian Research, Americans who consider being gay a “sin” are sorely lagging behind the rest of the country.

Out of the 1,191 people surveyed in November, LifeWay found that only 37 percent of  said “yes” when asked if homosexual behavior is a sin. Forty-five percent said it was not. Seventeen percent responded that they didn’t know.

The research firm says the numbers show a dramatic decrease from last year’s data, when 44 percent answered yes.

Ed Stetzer, president of LifeWay Research, says one of the deciding factors in this year’s polling may have been the President’s support for same-sex marriage. In a press release Stetzer says, “the president’s evolution on homosexuality probably impacted the evolution of cultural values – there is a real and substantive shift, surprisingly large for a one-year time frame – though this was hardly a normal year on this issue.”

According to LifeWay, “The survey also reveals Americans in the South (40 percent) are the most likely to select “Yes” to the question “Do you believe homosexual behavior is a sin?” as are Americans who attend religious services at least about once a week (61 percent), and those calling themselves “born-again, evangelical, or fundamentalist Christian” (73 percent).”

As Towleroad points out, the “numbers reflect other polls, such as Gallup’s very promising finding this year that 54% of Americans, the highest ever, believe same-sex love is morally acceptable.”

The survey has a margin of error of  2.9 percent.

Poll: Most Catholics Support Some Sort of Same-Sex Union

According to a new News York Times/CBS poll, 69 percent of Catholics surveyed say they support gay unions.

Equality is finding larger support in the mainstream as well. On Top Magazine reports the poll finds,”63 percent of Americans support recognizing gay and lesbian couples with either marriage (39%) or civil unions (24%). Thirty-two percent said there should be no recognition and 5 percent gave no opinion.”

“Forty-four percent of Catholics surveyed favored marriage, and 25 percent preferred civil unions. Twenty-four percent said gay couples should not be recognized by the government,” reports the magazine.

The number is smaller but still growing when it comes to support from evangelical circles. According to the poll,”Eighteen percent said they favored marriage, while 25 percent supported civil unions.”

The survey, released Tuesday, is based on 1,197 telephone interviews conducted between February 8-13 on land lines and cellphones.

Support for Marriage Equality Grows Amoung Washington State Lawmakers

Washington state lawmakers  may well be on their way to passing legislation allowing for same gender marriage.  According to a headcount by the Associated Press, out of  Washington’s 49 state senators, 22 are in favor legislation allowing same gender marriages. Such legislation is believed to be able to make it through the  more progressive house without much opposition.

According to the AP, “The measure needs 25 votes to pass the Senate. Four Democrats say they are considering whether to support it, including one who is leaning in favor.”

Support for marriage Equality has grown among Washington’s lawmakers over the last couple of years.  Governor Chris Gregoire publicly endorsed gay marriage for the first time last week and a few state lawmakers once considered anti-gay now either support or are considering supporting the act.

Democratic Sen. Ed Murray, a gay lawmaker from Seattle who has for years led efforts to approve same-sex marriage, tells the AP,that “he’s “50 percent optimistic” it will pass. He noted that he saw a gay civil rights measure he spearheaded lose by one vote in 2005 before it passed by a single vote the following year.”

Think Progress reports, “A recent poll conducted by the University of Washington Center for Survey Research in October found that 55 percent of voters in Washington “would support a state gay marriage law if it’s approved by the Legislature.”

Read More Here.

New Poll Shows Bipartisan Support For LGBTQIA Employment Protections

A new survey conducted by the Human Rights Campaign shows a strong majority of Americans support protecting gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people from discrimination in the workplace.

According to a HRC press release,”There is strong support for anti-discrimination laws across party lines (70 percent among Republicans) and ideological lines (67 percent among conservatives). Support is strong even among groups who tend to be tougher on LGBT issues, such as seniors (69 percent among voters over 65), those with a high school degree or less (68 percent), observant Christians (77 percent), born-again Christians (74 percent), and residents of  the Deep South (72 percent).”

“Overall, 77 percent of voters support protecting gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people from discrimination in employment. Over half (51 percent) support anti-discrimination laws strongly,” the HRC reports.

So why aren’t we moving faster on such legislation? As Think Progress points out,”a majority also falsely believe that such a law already exists.”

Like with anything education is a major key in getting anti-discrimination laws passed.  Here in Idaho, one GOP state lawmaker told me he didn’t see a point in adding sexual orientation and  gender identity to the Idaho human rights law. The lawmaker falsely believed that such protections were already in place at the federal level.

“We are at a cultural tipping point in the fight for LGBT equality,” said HRC President Joe Solmonese.  “Support for employment protections for LGBT workers is tipping the scale even further toward fairness for all people.  What is most promising is that people of all political, religious, and ideological persuasions clearly support non-discrimination laws protecting LGBT people.”

If we are ever going to see such legislation on both the state and or federal level it’s going to take you, your family and your friends to get it done. Start a conversation, learn all you can about the lack of protections for the LGBTQIA community and share that information every time you get the opportunity.

If you live in Idaho, take the extra step of asking those you know to write a few sticky notes and send them to their state lawmakers asking them to amend Idaho’s human rights law to include the words, “gender identity and sexual orientation.” 

The Add the Words, Idaho campaign has made it easier than ever to get involved this year. You can even submit your message to lawmakers by text or online.

According to Idaho Fair Employment, “a 2003 survey of 1500 gay people in Idaho found that the vast majority had experienced some form of job discrimination. The human rights commission, even though it is unable to provide mediation or investigation into such complaints, still does receive complaints each year from individuals who do not know that discrimination is still legal in Idaho”

We know we have the support, the next step is to make sure that support gets noticed.

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