Americans are becoming increasingly more liberal across several moral issues. According to a new Gallup study, a record high percentage of Americans are now accepting of same-sex relationships, having a baby outside of marriage and premarital sex between men and women.
Sixty-three percent of Americans now say they are accepting of same-sex couples. Only 40 percent felt that way in 2001. The 23-point jump in just 14 years marks the greatest shift in opinion to the left out of any issue Gallup measured in the survey.
Substantial progression to the left has also occurred on having a child out of wedlock. Today, 61 percent report that they are comfortable with the idea, a 16-point increase from when Gallup last asked the question in 2001. When it comes to premarital sex between men and women, 68 percent of Americans now see it as morally acceptable, compared to 53 percent in 2001.
Moral acceptance of divorce and stem cell research has also jumped by 12 points, reaching 71 percent and 64 percent respectively. By slightly lesser margins, Americans have also grown more accepting of issues such as polygamy and cloning humans. Still, these issues are seen as morally acceptable by less than one-sixth of the population.
Americans aren't just growing liberal on specific issues, they are becoming more liberal in general. For the first time since Gallup began asking the question 16 years ago, an equal number of Americans now identify as socially liberal and socially conservative. This reflects a trend since 1999 of a growing number of Americans self-identifying as liberal, according to Gallup.
Gallup surveyed 1,024 adults between May 6-10 via live interviews on landlines and cell phones.