Record Number Of Americans Agree With Gaga: Gays Born This Way

5.16.2013

By Andrew Belonsky

Gallup finds record support for nature over nurture in gay debate.

It used to be that the vast majority of the American public believed overbearing mothers or childhood trauma or some other queer aberration "turned" people gay. Back in 1977, when the polling agency Gallup first asked respondents about gay roots, 56% of people said homosexuality came from upbringing. Only 13% of people at the time said gays and lesbians are all natural. As you can see above, times have changed, and popular theories about gay people have, too.

According to Gallup, 47% of respondents living in 2013 America believe biology plays the dominant role in deciding whether someone's gay or lesbian. In contrast, only 33% of people still believe those old "nurture" yarns. That number was at 42% in 2011.

What's more, nature appears to be tops in all demographics. In 2011, only 28% of conservatives said gay people are born, not made. Today, that number is slightly, but notably higher: 33%. That's a five point jump in two years. Gallup also found that 36% of people say they've become more accepting of gays and lesbians over the past few years and 75% say they have a friend who's out of the closet. Fifty-eight percent of respondents said the same in 2009, and only 37% of people could say they had an openly gay friend in 1998.

What's astounding is that even though "born that way" beats out the "nurture" argument, it's still not in the majority. Yet Gallup shows again that a "solid majority" of the United States believes same-sex couples should be able to marry. This means that even people who think gays are made, not born, believe we deserve the same rights as everyone else. They're clearly rational, then, so maybe they too can be brought to their senses. To that end, here's a picture of the writer as a youth, clearly a natural gay:

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