Thursday, April 19, 2012

New Study: LGBT Tolerance Higher than Expected in Hispanic Community

The National Council of La Raza, The Arcus Foundation, and the public opinion research firm Social Science Research Solutions recently released a study of Hispanics in America and their opinions on LGBT issues.

The study was conducted in 2011 and surveyed 1001 participants of Latino origin or descent, age 18 or older. The study’s key finding was this: “Hispanics are as open and tolerant, if not more tolerant, than the general population.” As their first graph shows, Hispanic support for same-sex marriage is higher than that of the general American population.

In addition to this major finding, the NCLR study found that 64% of Latinos support civil unions; no less than 83% of Latinos support legal protections for hate crimes, job discrimination, housing discrimination, and support for healthcare and pension benefits for same-sex couples; 78% of Latinos support being “out” during military service.

However, the report goes on to state that “…There are nevertheless Hispanic segments at odds with legal [same-sex] marriage.” Those who are least accepting of marriage equality are men (half as supportive as women), Hispanics who go to church with “anti-gay” messages (four times less supportive), and Protestants, weekly churchgoers, and “literalists.”

And yet, “the road to acceptance for Hispanics is the same road used by other groups: association creates acceptance.” In this NCLR graph, we can see that when respondents knew “a lot” of “gay people” as opposed to “none,” positive sentiments increased by 20%,  support for legal adoption increased by 38%, and fear of the societal impact of LGBT rights fell by 33%.

You can find the full report and all of its illuminating findings here.

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