When asked in an open-ended question to name the national public figures most responsible for advancing LGBT rights, President Barack Obama, who announced last year that he had changed his mind and supports gay marriage, tops the list along with comedian and talk show host Ellen DeGeneres, who came out as a lesbian in and has been a leading advocate for the LGBT population ever since then. Those identified as independents do not lean towards either the Democratic Party or the Republican Party. Bisexuals are far more likely than either gay men or lesbians to be married, in part because a large majority of those in committed relationships have partners of the opposite sex and thus are able to marry legally. Overall, many LGBT adults say they have used their economic power in support or opposition to certain products or companies. For many, being transgender is a core part of their overall identity, even if they may not widely share this with many people in their lives.
Same-Sex Marriage On the topic of same-sex marriage, not surprisingly, there is a large gap between the views of the general public and those of LGBT adults. By contrast, gay men outnumber lesbians by about two-to-one among survey respondents. Gays and lesbians are also more likely than bisexuals to say their sexual orientation is a positive factor in their lives, though across all three subgroups, many say it is neither positive nor negative. Now I feel more at home in the world, though I must admit, not completely. Some identify as female-to-male, others as male-to-female. Chapter 5, Identity and Community, explores how LGBT adults view their sexual orientation or gender identity in the context of their overall identity. Identifying as another gender is not easy. Individual respondents are identified only by their age, gender and sexual orientation or gender identity. There are big differences across LGBT groups in how they use social networking sites. Roadmap to the Report Chapter 1, Demographic Portrait and Research Challenges, examines the demographic profile of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender adults surveyed by the Pew Research Center and other prominent research organizations. The margin of sampling error for the full LGBT sample is plus or minus 4. The online survey mode was chosen for this study, in part, because considerable research on sensitive issues such as drug use, sexual behavior and even attendance at religious services indicates that the online mode of survey administration is likely to elicit more honest answers from respondents on a range of topics. The survey questionnaire was written by the Pew Research Center and administered by the GfK Group using KnowledgePanel, its nationally representative online research panel. Gay men, lesbians and bisexuals are roughly equal in their expressed level of happiness. The survey was conducted April , , and administered online, a survey mode that research indicates tends to produce more honest answers on a range of sensitive topics than do other less anonymous modes of survey-taking. Large majorities of LGBT adults and the general public agree that love, companionship and making a lifelong commitment are very important reasons to marry. The Pew Research Center thanks and acknowledges M. The table above provides a look at key demographic characteristics of the full Pew Research LGBT survey sample and its three largest sub-groups—bisexuals, gay men and lesbians. Gay men report having reached all of these coming out milestones somewhat earlier than do lesbians and bisexuals. Opinions on this question are strongly associated with partisanship. Of those LGBT adults who are religiously affiliated, one-third say there is a conflict between their religious beliefs and their sexual orientation or gender identity. Much of this resistance is rooted in deeply held religious attitudes, such as the belief that engaging in homosexual behavior is a sin. Most who did tell a parent say that it was difficult, but relatively few say that it damaged their relationship. Roughly three-quarters of bisexual respondents to the Pew Research survey are women. And others may use the term transsexual to describe their identity. A new Pew Research Center analysis shows that among the general public, knowing someone who is gay or lesbian is linked with greater acceptance of homosexuality and support for same-sex marriage.
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