LA Times Poll on Homosexuality: How To Spin It

Baptist Press > LA Times

LA Times headline: Acceptance of Gays Rises Among New Generation

Southern Baptist headline: Poll: Most Americans say homosexuality is 'against God's will'

The report is actually kind of weird like that. Americans, it seems, have a lot of mixed emotions on the various issues about gays and lesbians.

The Baptist trumpet that most Americans (57%) say that homosexuality is against God's will, but only 48% say that homosexuality is morally wrong. That means about 9% of Americans don't equate God's will with morality?

The two questions are asked in a certain order. It's actually a group of three questions that weren't rotated in order.

Q63. Do you personally believe that same-sex relationships between consenting adults are morally wrong or is that not a moral issue?

Morally wrong - 48%
Not a moral issue - 46%
Don't know - 6%

Q64. No matter if you think it is morally right or wrong, can you accept two men or two women living together like a married couple or can you not accept that kind of living arrangement?

Can accept - 65%
Can't accept - 30%
Don't know 5%

Q65. Do you think same-sex relationships are against God's will, or don't you feel this way?

Don't believe (volunteered) - 1%
Against God's will - 57%
Not against God's will - 33%
Don't know - 9%
The results are broken down in a lot of ways, but I've reported the All column.

As you can see, when talking about their personal take on the issue, people are a lot more accepting of gays and lesbians. But when asked to consider the will of God, the numbers shift to the conservative side.

I don't think this would have been revealed had question 65 been placed in front of question 63. There does seem to be a statistically significant disconnect between how people percieve the will of God and how they conduct their everyday life.

I wish that such a reversal had been used in the polling (say 50-50 either way), because of the subsequent effect on question 64. I've no doubt that putting question 65 before 63 would have produced more similar numbers between them, but would people still then be inclined to answer that they would accept a gay couple living together? Having answered two abstract questions about the validity of gay relationships in the context of God, would this have translated to an actual practice of non-acceptance?

There's a lot more in both articles; that's just the thing that interested me right off the bat.