Posted on Apr 12, 2004 | by Michael Foust
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)--Most Americans believe that homosexuality is “against God’s will” and that same-sex “marriage” will degrade the institution of marriage, according to a new Los Angeles Times poll.
The poll of 1,616 adults, conducted March 27-30 and released April 10, showed that Americans hold seemingly contradictory views on some same-sex issues. For instance, a majority of Americans favor civil rights laws for homosexuals but oppose allowing same-sex couples to adopt. In addition, they see nothing wrong with having homosexuals teach their children, but they would be upset if their own child said he or she is a homosexual.
But on religious matters, Americans tilt toward traditional beliefs.
By a margin of 57-33 percent Americans say same-sex relationships are “against God’s will.” In addition, by a 55-41 percent margin, Americans say same-sex “marriage” would “degrade” the institution of marriage.
A plurality of Americans, 48 percent, say same-sex relationships between consenting adults are “morally wrong.” Forty-six percent disagreed with the statement.
Americans apparently see a relationship between marriage and procreation -- 48 percent agree that homosexuality “is wrong because people were put on this earth to reproduce.” Forty-seven percent disagreed. Additionally, only 25 percent agree with the statement that same-sex “marriage” is “a good thing for society because it strengthens family units.” Sixty-seven percent disagreed, with 52 percent strongly disagreeing.
By a 52-40 percent margin, Americans also oppose allowing same-sex couples to adopt. Sixty percent say they would be upset if their child said he or she is a homosexual.
Unlike recent polls that have showed strong opposition to same-sex “marriage,” the L.A. Times poll did not ask a “yes or no” question on same-sex “marriage” but gave respondents a series of options. Twenty-four percent say they favor same-sex “marriage” legalization, 38 percent civil unions and 34 percent neither.
By a margin of 51-42 percent Americans say they support a constitutional amendment protecting the traditional definition of marriage. Polls have varied on this question, with some polls showing support for an amendment as high as 59 percent.
But regardless of their answer on same-sex “marriage,” 59 percent say its legalization is inevitable.
Regarding what causes homosexuality, Americans are split -- 32 percent say people are born that way, 14 percent say it is tied to their upbringing and 35 percent say it is something they choose to be.
A combined 61 percent of Americans believe homosexuals can change, at least in a few cases. Specifically, 12 percent say homosexuals can change in “most” cases, 25 percent say they can change in “some” cases and 24 percent say they can change in “a few cases.” Twenty-eight percent say that homosexuals never can change.
While the poll had some good news for social conservatives, it also had plenty of bad news.
Fifty-four percent of adults ages 18-29 approve of homosexual rights, as do a plurality (45 percent) of those ages 30-44. Overall, Americans are split 42-42 percent as to whether they approve of homosexual rights.
An overwhelming majority of Americans, 70 percent, say that the military should not be able to discharge soldiers because of their homosexuality. And 62 percent say that homosexuals should be given civil rights protections identical to what racial minorities and women have.
Among the poll’s other findings:
-- By a 58-31 percent margin, Americans say it is possible for same-sex couples to be in love with one another the same way that men and women fall in love.
-- Seventy-two percent favor laws protecting homosexuals against job discrimination and 74 percent favor laws protecting against housing discrimination.
-- Sixty-eight percent say it wouldn’t bother them if their elementary school child had a teacher who is homosexual. Forty-five percent say they would allow their child to read a book that contained a story about a same-sex couple; 44 percent say they wouldn’t.
-- Fifty-five percent say issues pertaining to the “gay community” have been getting too much coverage in the media.
-- Thirty-six percent say President Bush would do a better job of handling the issue of same-sex “marriage,” 35 percent say Sen. John Kerry would. Bush supports a constitutional marriage amendment. Kerry opposes it.
For more information about the debate over same-sex "marriage," visithttp://www.bpnews.net/samesexmarriage