Forty-four percent were unable to define the Bill of Rights. He was a president, by the way.
In addition to a plurality who now approve of same-sex marriage, Americans overwhelmingly support basic civil liberties and freedom of expression for gays and lesbians, in contrast to sharp division on such issues in the s.
It went from 11 percent approval in to 46 percent incompared to 40 percent who were opposed, producing a narrow plurality in favor for the first time. The report is based on findings of the latest General Social Survey, conducted in with a cross sample of more than 2, people.
While 64 percent of those under 30 back same-sex marriage, only 27 percent of those 70 and older support it. Acceptance of homosexuality in general also reflects the generational difference in opinion.
As a result of the generational division, public attitudes are sharply divided on the issue. The GSS, which has been conducted biennially for 40 years, showed a marked increase in support of many civil liberties for gays and lesbians. Support for a gay person's right to speak before a public audience increased from 62 percent in to 86 percent in ; support for allowing gays and lesbians to teach at colleges or universities rose from 48 percent in to 84 percent in ; and approval for having a library keep a book that favors homosexuality rose from 54 percent in to 78 percent in The change toward acceptance of homosexuality began in the late s after years of remaining relatively constant.
Byhowever, that number dropped to 54 percent and by was down to Supported by the National Science Foundation, the General Social Survey monitors societal change and the growing complexity of American society. With the exception of the U. Census, the GSS is the most widely used source of information about social trends and attitudes.
NORC also supports a nationwide field staff as well as international research operations. With clients throughout the world, NORC collaborates with government agencies, foundations, educational institutions, nonprofit organizations, and businesses to provide data and analysis that support informed decision making in key areas including health, education, economics, crime, justice, energy, security, and the environment.
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