A recent poll from CBS and New York Times has shown that more US Americans favor gays and lesbians serving in the military than they favor the same right for homosexuals.
Pollers randomly called people across the country and asked their opinions of either ‘homosexuals’ or ‘gays and lesbians,’ with over 500 people in each group.
70% favor allowing gays and lesbians to serve; 51% strongly. 58% favor their serving openly.
59% favor allowing homosexuals to serve in the military; 34% strongly. 44% favor their serving openly.
The terminology creates a 15% difference in margin, well over that of relevant votes. Prop 8, for example, won by less than 5%. It is noted now that advocates of either side tend to use the corresponding term.
Geoffrey R Stone of Huffington Post writes on the terms, “ ‘Homosexual’ conjures up dark visions of filthy bodily acts that arouse deeply-rooted feelings of disgust and ancient fears of Sodom and Gomorrah and hell and damnation. ‘Gay men and lesbians,’ on the other hand, increasingly reminds us of people we know -- sons and daughters, cousins and classmates, nieces and nephews, coworkers and neighbors.”
The results are also compared with polls from 1993 and 2009. Each used the term ‘homosexuals.’ 42% favored their military serving in 1993 (half strongly), and 63% in 2009 (46% strongly – greater than today’s number for homosexuals).
Complete statistics are available here.
The poll used random digit dial samples of both standard land-line and cell phones, numbering 1,084 adults nationwide, interviewed by telephone February 5-10, 2010. The error due to sampling for results based on the entire sample could be plus or minus three percentage points. The error for subgroups is higher.
The poll release conforms to the Standards of Disclosure of the National Council on Public Polls.
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