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47% of America Thinks Being Gay Is a Choice. And Yet 43% Supports Gay Marriage?

DATA PIPE — Some 47 percent of Americans think homosexuality is a choice, according to a just-released Angus Reid Public Opinion poll (PDF) of 1,001 American adults surveyed online. Of that same sample, 43 percent support same-sex marriage (while 53 percent support some form of legal recognition of gay unions). And 53 percent of them reported knowing close friends or relatives who are gay. This does not, in fact, mean that the same people who think being gay is an option support marriage equality; just the same (rough) number of people do. Still a very curious result.

By:           editor editor
On:           Dec 18, 2009
Tagged: , , ,
  • 34 Comments
    • musicdivaSF
      musicdivaSF

      I don’t have the link and information on the correlation of those who are against equality for all Americans and their level of education but I believe it goes hand in hand. So really, looking at this report. I wonder what the participant’s level of education are when they engaged in this type of survey.

      I would also add a question asking, if you believe homosexuality is a choice. Do you believe that heterosexuality is a choice?

      Dec 18, 2009 at 12:43 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Nick
      Nick

      Exactly…if being gay is a choice then in their logic being straight is a choice…so then what difference does it make who you marry?

      Dec 18, 2009 at 12:49 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • romeo
      romeo

      Most of that 47% knows it’s not a choice, they just don’t like us and if they admit it’s not a choice, then their arguments against us fall apart. People are stubborn like that. And they say all kinds of shit to pollsters. Polls are useless at collecting facts.

      Dec 18, 2009 at 1:29 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • john
      john

      its so odd that gay rights never progress in this country. Year after year these numbers never change. Americans are homophobic and stubborn about it too.

      Dec 18, 2009 at 1:34 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • romeo
      romeo

      @ John: I suspect we are clearing a hurdle, and the future will be brighter and more equitable for us. A lot of the things that held those notions in place are starting to break down because of our higher visibility. It will take a while longer, though.

      Dec 18, 2009 at 1:55 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • PopSnap
      PopSnap

      Even if they did believe it was a choice, why does that automatically make them not support gay marriage? I am gay, and as far as I can tell it gradually developed over puberty; i was attracted to guys instead of girls. However, I dated a guy once who insisted he was gay by his own choice. He acted and talked straight and stuff. Why does this suddenly make him a liar, and why is that so awful? Is it a stretch to say that sexuality isnt fluid, and is it an even bigger stretch to say “who the fuck cares”?

      Dec 18, 2009 at 2:58 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • romeo
      romeo

      @ Pop: The point is, once your enemies start hearing gay people like your friend say “it’s a choice,” then they’ll say, “fine, then you can choose what we want you to be – straight” And they’ll pass laws to make good on it. Like in Uganda.

      BTW, do you really think you’re friend “chose” to be gay? LOL

      Dec 18, 2009 at 3:07 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Kent
      Kent

      Even if being homosexual was a choice, if I decide I want to be queer, I should be allowed, and it should not affect my rights.

      Dec 18, 2009 at 8:02 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • jason
      jason

      Part of the reason for this “homosexuality is a choice” notion is obvious to me. It’s because most straight men are actually bisexual in their orientation (ie feelings). They realize it but control it. They push their same-sex aspect to the side. They interpret this as “choice”, and this is reflected in the responses they give to pollsters.

      Another thing is this: when pollsters ask “Do you think homosexuality is a choice?”, it’s unclear as to whether they are referring to the homosexual orientation (ie feelings) or the homosexual act. This just adds an extra layer to the misinterpretation of the question by the respondent.

      Dec 18, 2009 at 11:28 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Robert
      Robert

      I’ve said this for years. So what if I CHOOSE to love another man (though choosing to love is something of a strange idea!) If we want to claim the right to marriage as a civil right, then it seems to me that choice is completely irrelevant. Most obvious case: I fuck guys because because we both want to and it has nothing to do with anyone but us. So bite me.

      Dec 19, 2009 at 8:13 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Robert, NYC
      Robert, NYC

      DOes anyone ever ask them if they chose being straight, some idiots would say yes of course, while others would say no because they were born normal. Its so fucked up and onesided in their favor.

      Dec 19, 2009 at 2:51 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • schlukitz
      schlukitz

      No. 8 · Kent

      Even if being homosexual was a choice, if I decide I want to be queer, I should be allowed, and it should not affect my rights.

      BINGO!

      I’ve been waiting for someone to say that. :)

      As if choosing to be gay is a bad thing?

      Do these same people who say homosexuality is a choice, also believe that we choose whether to be white, Black or Asian?

      Dumb fucks.

      Dec 19, 2009 at 3:13 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • McShane
      McShane

      Mutually exclusive groups.? Regardless a small sample to draw conclusions from .

      Dec 19, 2009 at 3:38 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Daniel
      Daniel

      Since sexual orientation is a spectrum ranging from 100% hetero to 100% gay, there are a lot of shades inbetween, for instance there is bi where a person is 95% hetero/5% gay and there is bi where a person is 10% hetero/90% gay. I think the poll is actually demostrating that about half the population is bi, even if they aren’t able to articulate it so saying gay is a choice is their way of saying they themselves are not 100% hetero. In other words, it is how 47% are saying some part of themselves is gay to some extent and they could act on it so for them gay is a choice for them. I think the poll has just demonstated a sizeable bi community running the spectrum.

      Dec 20, 2009 at 9:29 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • ericka v.
      ericka v.

      Romeo makes a telling statement:

      “Most of that 47% knows it’s not a choice, they just don’t like us and if they admit it’s not a choice, then their arguments against us fall apart”

      Sorry Romeo, that 47% are well aware of the numbers of ex-gays out there and know that for many being gay is in fact a choice. They also see middle aged people who have been heterosexual and married now moving into the gay lifestyle.

      Until you can explain why there are thousands of ex-gays including former gay leaders, and then the fact others decide to be gay later in life, oh, and don’t forget bi-sexuals who are wired either way, the born that way statement falls apart.

      And lastly until science can offer some concrete prof of gay being a biological or genetic choice, a significant majority of poeple will not buy it.

      Dec 20, 2009 at 9:53 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • 1EqualityUSA
      1EqualityUSA

      Ericka V. I don’t have to prove anything to you or anyone else. I bet you are latent. Only a latent person would be this consumed with gay issues. so stuff your argument and your superior attitude. My straight sister isn’t trolling gay sites for months on end. Examine yourself and your motives. Self-hatred expresses itself in weird ways. You’re weird. Accept that. Go away.

      Dec 20, 2009 at 10:19 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • naghanenu
      naghanenu

      No. 14 · ericka v.

      Well said. That is the challenge. You see, i think we all know that race is something you have no control over. I mean you are the product of biology and its very obvious and totally inarguable.
      Now homosexuality is not this obvious. When u see ex-gays it kinda kills the argument for most people that gay is not a choice. Science has to bring up one very indisputable fact that gay is not a choice before people believe it.

      Dec 20, 2009 at 10:37 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • 1EqualityUSA
      1EqualityUSA

      In applying the California Constitution’s equal protection clause, on the ground that there is a question as to whether this characteristic is or is not “immutable.” Although we noted in Sail’er Inn, supra, 5 Cal.3d 1, that generally a person’s gender is viewed as an immutable trait (id. at p. 18), immutability is not invariably required in order for a characteristic to be considered a suspect classification for equal protection purposes. California cases establish that a person’s religion is a suspect classification for equal protection purposes (see, e.g., Owens v. City of Signal Hill (1984) 154 Cal.App.3d 123, 128; Williams v. Kapilow & Son, Inc. (1980) 105 Cal.App.3d 156, 161-162), and one’s religion, of course, is not immutable but is a matter over which an individual has control. (See also Raffaelli v. Committee of Bar Examiners (1972) 7 Cal.3d 288, 292 [alienage treated as a suspect classification notwithstanding circumstance that alien can become a citizen].)
      Because a person’s sexual orientation is so integral an aspect of one’s identity, it is
      not appropriate to require a person to repudiate or change his or her sexual
      orientation in order to avoid discriminatory treatment.
      Read the decision here: http://www.courtinfo.ca.gov/op…..147999.PDF
      Clearly, immutability is not the issue here, the central issue here is equal protection under the constitution.

      Dec 20, 2009 at 10:41 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • 1EqualityUSA
      1EqualityUSA

      (My sincere thanks goes to “Blackout” for these insightful posts)
      Prior to the 10th Century, European marriages took place wholly outside the confines and authority of the christian church. The church claimed retroactively that it had “always” been a sacrament (in the Council of Trent, 1545 C.E.), but historically speaking this simply isn’t true. In reality, marriage was declared an official institution and sacrament of the catholic church at the Council of Florence in 1431 C.E., though to be fair the move to do this had been slowly growing for several hundred years prior. History indicates that marriage originated as a secular, legal arrangement (just as it is now).
      More examples include the Safavidi Dynasty (of the Middle-East), the Melaneians and Papua New Guineans (in the South Pacific), the people of the Song, Ming and Qing Dynasties (historical China), and the Samurai who practiced Shudo (in Japan). These cultures also demonstrated a wide-spread accepted same-sex marriages in their midst. And let’s not forget the Ancient Greeks and Romans. The Spartans (for example) practiced same-sex military marriages, and the Emperor Nero publicly entered into a marriage arrangement with his male lover, Sporus (and many other similar relationships are well documented in the historical records of the Empire).
      The simple fact is that the idea of accepting same-sex couples is neither a recent nor a particularly unusual societal affectation. On the contrary, when you step away from the always ego-centric myopia of Western judaeo-christianity and islam—and the often quite imaginary versions of redacted history that they tend to espouse–the rabid opposition same-sex couples and their relationships that we see today seems more than a little odd.
      It is also of interest to note that the Common Law was not of christian origin. In fact Thomas Jefferson repudiated this assertion specifically, noting that…
      “Christianity neither is, nor ever was, a part of the common law…For we know that the common law is that system of law which was introduced by the Saxons on their settlement of England, and altered from time to time by proper legislative authority from that time to the date of the Magna Charta, which terminates the period of the common law … This settlement took place about the middle of the fifth century. But Christianity was not introduced till the seventh century; the conversion of the first Christian king of the Heptarchy having taken place about the year 598, and that of the last about 686. Here then, was a space of two hundred years, during which the common law was in existence, and Christianity no part of it … That system of religion could not be a part of the common law, because they were not yet Christians.
      Also, it is important to remember that from the time of the founding, the U.S. has accepted the validity of Common Law marriages, which of course are non-religious. So in fact, it is simply untrue that the institution of marriage in the United States is in any way uniquely tied to the late-come religious additions to the historical institution of marriage. As Thomas Jefferson wrote in his autobiography…
      “The bill for establishing religious freedom…meant to comprehend, within the mantle of it’s protection, the Jew and the Gentile, the Christian and Mahometan, the Hindoo, and infidel of every denomination.”
      In fact, the founding fathers we’re quite worldly and aware of the existence of other religions (and even atheists) among the citizens of the early United States, and expressly acted to protect THEIR freedom of religion, too.

      Dec 20, 2009 at 10:41 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • 1EqualityUSA
      1EqualityUSA

      Naghanenu, Does your brother need to prove it to you before you believe him?

      Dec 20, 2009 at 10:45 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Robert, NYC
      Robert, NYC

      So Ericka, when did you choose to be straight?Do you really believe that anyone in their right mind would choose a gay orientation when you look at all of the discrimination, harassment, gay bashing/killing, denial of basic rights, torture, execution in some neanderthal countries, that we face on a daily basis? You’re delusional if you think straights suddenly turn gay. Its equally absurd that gays turn straight. One or two may say they have and get married, but they still remain gay and many cheat with another of the same-sex on the side. Provide us with evidence that there is a gene that makes you straight? Next you’ll be saying that eye or skin color aren’t natural and are not immutable. By the way, religious cultism isn’t immutable either, all learned behavior. You’re really more stupid than I thought.

      Dec 20, 2009 at 11:57 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • 1EqualityUSA
      1EqualityUSA

      Robert,NYC–Ericka V. will not change her mind, no matter how well we refute her lame, bigoted, uneducated, mindset. Legally, religiously, physiologically, we could refute her hate and still, she clings and spits out her OPINIONS all over the internet. Self-hatred expresses itself in odd ways. I wish she would go into her bedroom, close the door, lock it if necessary, and express her hatred all over herself, for hours on end, sparing the rest of the world her idiotic personality and the words formed by her ever-so-chosen-straight brain. (?) That’s still out for the jury.

      Dec 20, 2009 at 12:10 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • schlukitz
      schlukitz

      I co-sign you, 1EqualityUSA

      So much for the lame argument I’ve also seen on these threads on many occasions “We need to win ‘them’ over, one heart and one mind at a time.”

      That would require a human being who is not bigoted, not consumed with learned hatred and someone who is educated and has an open, inquiring mindset.

      Thank you for applying, Erika V. We regret to inform you that you that your standards do not meet our rigid requirements for intelligent debate.

      Dec 20, 2009 at 12:21 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • schlukitz
      schlukitz

      No. 20 · Robert, NYC

      Provide us with evidence that there is a gene that makes you straight?

      Robert, you you give Erika V. far too much credit.

      You are assuming that she has a brain with which to accomplish your request. ;P

      Dec 20, 2009 at 12:24 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • rudy
      rudy

      No. 14 · Ericka’s post drips witrh all the contempt she claims does not exist.
      Ignore the troll.

      Dec 20, 2009 at 12:30 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Josh NYC
      Josh NYC

      The “homosexuality is a choice” belief comes from religion and religion alone. Any thinking person, especially if the know someone gay, understands it is not a choice. In fact, people who admit the reality of their feelings, are the honest ones. People ignorantly promoting the idea of “choice” are the dishonest or uniformed.

      This particular Poll simply says that about half of those questioned are smart enough to move beyond the religious lie that homosexuality is a choice or lifestyle. So, we still have a lot of work to do – but, it looks promising. We’ll never end religion, but it looks like “complete ignorance” is on the decline.

      Dec 20, 2009 at 12:31 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • 1EqualityUSA
      1EqualityUSA

      Ericka V would respond, but she kneeling in grits and praying it away, so, later, when her knees have stopped bleeding, she’ll spew more for our benefit.

      Dec 20, 2009 at 12:39 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • schlukitz
      schlukitz

      No. 26 · 1EqualityUSA

      I guess it is safe to assume that Erika V. is also wearing her hair-shirt and whipping herself with her quirt while kneeling in grits and praying it away? ;P

      Dec 20, 2009 at 12:44 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • naghanenu
      naghanenu

      Yes 1EqualityUSA he did.

      If i did not have a family member that was gay, you betcha i would still think it was a choice. His coming out made me do some soul searching….as much as i love him i cant just write him off as my dad has because he is gay. As i said, my dad is an African whose also deeply religious.A very deep mix, i tell ya. Its still hard for him to view my brother as a normal person. Wont even talk about him…u have no idea how heartbreaking this is for my mom and me.

      Gay acceptance has a long way to go. People still have a lot of issues with this. That is why at this point only the government can help. If they grew a pair and repealed DOMA today, maybe people will see that gay couples are not the immoral monsters they think they are and relax their opinions but till then..

      Dec 20, 2009 at 12:51 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • 1EqualityUSA
      1EqualityUSA

      Schlukitz, I was so done with the refuting, but then I read that drippy, condescending post #14 and something came over me. Would they be so bold in a face to face encounter?

      Dec 20, 2009 at 12:59 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Robert, NYC
      Robert, NYC

      Josh, agreed, being gay or straight is not a choice, BUT….religion IS. Nobody comes into this world religious or full of hatred for others and choosing discrimination over full equality, its all learned behavior, aided and abetted by religion itself. Just look at its history, it is the same as it was since its inception, nothing has changed, however, it is definitely in decline. That very decline is why we’re seeing a lot of desperation on their part, that they resort to trolling gay blogsites to vent their hatred. They know deep down they’re losing the cultural war, otherwise equality wouldn’t bother them as it does. These are sick, demented, delusional people who use religion to cover up their own shortcomings and inadequacy, in or out of the bedroom.

      Dec 20, 2009 at 3:22 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Schteve
      Schteve

      You know, just because someone thinks being gay is a choice doesn’t mean they have to think being straight is also a choice. It’s still possible they think that being straight is somehow the default behavior, and any deviations from it (including being gay) are a choice away from the default non-choice.

      Dec 20, 2009 at 11:25 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B.
      B.

      Why would anyone be surprised that “47% of America Thinks Being Gay Is a Choice. And Yet 43% Supports Gay Marriage?” It’s not like there is any contradiction between the two numbers, nor even any indication that very many people believe both – after all
      47 + 43 < 100. The survey suggests that 53% either think being gay is not a choice or simply have no opinion, so it would not be surprising in the least if that 43% was mostly from individuals in that 53%.

      Might I suggest that the QUEERTY guy who writes these headlines try to think a bit before writing them? :-)

      Dec 21, 2009 at 3:50 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • jason
      jason

      Daniel at response number 13,

      That’s basically what I think. It’s the realization of the bisexual orientation, which is biological, in guys who are socially straight.

      They project their own self-perception onto the notion that homosexuality is a choice.

      Dec 21, 2009 at 7:59 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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