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Participants in each were asked to give their "best guess" of how many Americans are gay or lesbians.

Those taking the older survey chose between 10 categories from "zero to 9 percent" to "90 to percent," while those taking the newer survey gave a numerical percentage. In addition, both surveys asked about support for then-current gay-rights topics, including "homosexual relations being legal" in , gay marriage in , and equal rights in employment and child adoption in both. The study's first finding is that "the public tends to consistently overestimate the size of the gay and lesbian population.

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Gallup reported in that 3. Interestingly, "Members of groups that would be most likely to perceive gays as threatening, such as Republicans and the religious, were no more likely to provide higher estimates of the gay population than were members of other groups," the researchers report. That said, the belief that gays make up a large share of the population does seem to influence people's views on policy issues. In the survey, "higher estimates of the gay population are associated with less support for equality," the researchers write.

This was not true in the survey. Specifically, in , those making higher population estimates were less likely to support legal employment protections and same-sex marriage. As the LGBT population moves into its full and equal place in public life, many people are asking an old question with new urgency: Now, for the first time, a group of experts from 21 federal agencies are working on a project to figure out how to do just that.

For many LGBT people, there is also a keen sense of dignity and power at stake in such research.

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Privacy concerns and terminology quandaries are among the issues that the federal working group, led out of the Office of Management and Budget, are working hard to figure out, as politicians across the nation argue that these demographics, and their struggles, must be recognized and researched. That is, if you can figure out how to get it. But even though LGBT people can participate more fully in public life, bans remain, like one on the open military service of transgender troops—part of the reason that estimates of how many of them there are range from 1, according to a new RAND study to 15, according to a paper Gates wrote in Gates first made a mark with his research a little over a decade ago.

Census question to show there were same-sex couples in A spokesperson for the census says that at this time they have no plans to add questions about that or gender identity to their surveys, though they are participating in the federal working group. The stated aim was to collect information on cohabiting heterosexual couples, but the question also revealed how many same-sex people who identified as partners were living together and where.

Demographics of sexual orientation - Wikipedia

Gates mined this data from the Census to produce his geographical analysis, which was celebrated by LGBT people as confirmation that they were a legitimate voting bloc and politicians needed to take their concerns seriously. Today, many transgender people feel they need a similar affirmation.

In heated political battles all over the country—largely over the use of public bathrooms—transgender advocates can be heard making arguments about their very existence that echo ones made by gay and lesbian Americans decades ago. Studies have estimated that anywhere from 0. Americans remain slightly more likely to oppose, rather than favor, formalized civil unions between gay and lesbian partners.

Support for legal same-sex unions is highest among Americans living on the East and West coasts, among Democrats, among those with higher levels of education, and among younger generations.

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The issue was recently launched back into the news with The New York Times' decision to include commitment ceremony announcements for gay and lesbian partners along with its traditional wedding announcements in its Sunday paper. Learn how to solve skills shortage and engagement problems by redesigning career paths and selecting managers with a better method. October 8, Gallup https: JavaScript is not enabled.


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Please Enable JavaScript Safely. What Percentage of the Population Is Gay? Portrayals in Pop Culture Before the s, the few representations of homosexuality in popular culture tended to consist of potentially dangerous social deviants think Norman Bates in Psycho. Key Points Whether increased acceptance of homosexuality has led to an upsurge in the number of positive media portrayals of gay characters or vice versa, one result seems to be that Americans now tend to overestimate the gay population in America.

What Percentage of the Population Is Gay?

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