According to a new analysis of 2000 National Election Survey data, support for gay and lesbian nondiscrimination laws has substantially increased among people of all political ideologies. The analysis was conducted by political scientist Alan S.Yang, who said the “data confirm trends toward majority support for sexual orientation nondiscrimination laws,” which have been in place since the early 1990’s.
An overwhelming majority of respondents backed the right of gay men and women to serve in the military, with 65% of Republicans, 76% of Independents and 82% of Democrats demonstrating their support. The public still narrowly opposes the right of adoption for same-sex couples, but Yang claims the public’s views are rapidly shifting. The survey shows 41.1% of the population supports adoption rights, up from 26.3% in 1992.
The analysis marks the first time that a majority of Republicans support gay and lesbian nondiscrimination laws. According to National Gay and Lesbian Task Force executive director Lorri L. Jean, this finding shows a major rift between party members and elected officials. Those “who oppose sexual orientation nondiscrimination laws are out of touch not only with the majority of the public, but also with a majority of Republicans,” said Jean, noting the support for such laws across all political lines.