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Gays Still Experience Discrimination, Abuse But Public Supports Hate Crimes Legislation

Even though gays report feeling more accepted by society than a few years ago, a great majority still experience discrimination and verbal abuse, according to a survey released today by the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. The survey, Inside-OUT: A Report on the Experiences of Lesbians, Gays and Bisexuals in America and the Public’s Views on Issues and Policies Related to Sexual Orientation, found that 76 percent of self-identified lesbians, gays, and bisexuals felt greater acceptance of gays, but 74 percent reported having experienced discrimination and another 74 percent reported being victims of verbal abuse. In addition, about one-third of respondents reported they had been victims of physical abuse.

The survey also found that a majority of the general public, about 73 percent, supports federal legislation that would increase penalties for perpetrators of hate crimes based on sexual orientation. Majorities also supported anti-discrimination policies in housing, employment, and domestic partner benefits. Smaller percentages, however, supported adoption rights for gays and lesbians, 46 percent, or legally sanction marriages, 47 percent. Younger respondents were more favorable towards gays in these categories. Among 18- to 29-year olds surveyed, 68 percent supported gay unions, 60 percent supported gay marriage, and 55 percent supported adoption rights

Sources:

Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation Press Release, 11/13/01