Friday, May 27, 2011

We're everywhere!

Gallup asked adults, "Just your best guess, what percent of Americans today would you say are gay or lesbian?" An astonishing (to me, anyway) 35% of responders said that at least 25% of Americans are gay. Another 17% said at least 20% are gay. Yup, half of the responders said there are at least 1 gay in 5 people or over 60 million, perhaps over 75 million, gays in the country. Surveys asking if you are gay put the total number of gays at about 10 million.

My obvious question is, Why the huge discrepancy between perception and the best scientific survey? The report poses some possible reasons. A majority of Americans know someone who is gay or lesbian and that may color perception. That increased exposure lead many to feel they have enough info to offer an estimate (no opinion was only 8%). In addition, we have difficulty estimating the size of groups whose numbers are not widely known.

My guess is the estimate is high because gay rights are so much in the news and many Fundies are making a big deal about us -- if they must put in that much effort there must be a lot of us. Which makes it ironic that the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) claims there is no problem discriminating against us because there are so few of us.

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