Survey Reports
November 18, 2003

Religious Beliefs Underpin Opposition to Homosexuality

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Questionnaire

         PEW RESEARCH CENTER FOR THE PEOPLE & THE PRESS
           AND PEW FORUM ON RELIGION AND PUBLIC LIFE
      OCTOBER 2003 NEWS INTEREST INDEX/HOMOSEXUALITY STUDY
                         FINAL TOPLINE
                     October 15 - 19, 2003
                             N=1515

ON FORM ONE Q.17 PRECEDES Q.18 -- ON FORM TWO, Q.18 PRECEDES Q.17
Q.17 Do you strongly favor, favor, oppose, or strongly oppose allowing gays and lesbians to 
marry legally?

                          Mid-July March  June     October 2003 Experiment
                            2003    2001  1996      Form One   Form Two
      9  Strongly favor      10       8     6          9           8
     23  Favor               28      27    21         21          25
     24  Oppose              23      23    24         25          23
     35  Strongly oppose     30      34    41         33          38
      9  Don't know/Refused   9       8     8         12           6
    100                     100     100   100        100         100
                                                   (N=735)     (N=780)

ON FORM ONE Q.17 PRECEDES Q.18 -- ON FORM TWO, Q.18 PRECEDES Q.17
Q.18 Do you strongly favor, favor, oppose, or strongly oppose allowing gay and lesbian couples 
     to enter into legal agreements with each other that would give them many of the same rights 
     as married couples?

                                                  October 2003 Experiment
                                                   Form One   Form Two
     13   Strongly favor                             14          12
     28   Favor                                      31          25
     21   Oppose                                     20          21
     30   Strongly oppose                            27          34
      8  Don't know/Refused (VOL.)                    8           8
    100                                             100         100
                                                  (N=735)     (N=780)

Q.17 Do you strongly favor, favor, oppose, or strongly oppose allowing gays and lesbians to marry 
     legally?
IF OPPOSE GAY MARRIAGE (3,4 IN Q.17), ASK:
Q.19 Should the U.S. Constitution be amended to ban gay marriage, or is it enough to prohibit gay 
     marriage by law without changing the Constitution?

     32   Favor gay and lesbian marriage
     59   Oppose gay and lesbian marriage
      10   Amend the Constitution
      42   Enough to prohibit by law
       7   Don't know/Refused (VOL.)
      9   Don't know/Refused (VOL.)
    100


ASK ALL:
On a different subject 
RELIG  What is your religious preference   Protestant, Roman Catholic, Jewish, Muslim, Mormon, or 
       an orthodox church such as the Greek or Russian Orthodox Church?

          Protestant (INCLUDE: Baptist, Lutheran, Methodist, Presbyterian, Episcopalian, 
     59     Pentecostal, Jehovah's Witness, Church of Christ, etc.)
     22   Roman Catholic
      2   Jewish 
      1   Mormon (include Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints)
      1   Orthodox Church (Greek or Russian)
      1   Islam/Muslim 
      2   Other religion (SPECIFY)
      8   No religion, not a believer, atheist, agnostic
      4   Don't know/Refused (VOL.)
    100

IF RELIG = 1, 2, 4, 5, 7, 9 ASK [N=1347]:
BORN Would you describe yourself as a "born again" or evangelical Christian, or not?

     43   Yes, would
     51   No, would not
      6   Don't know/Refused (VOL.)
    100

ASK ALL:
ATTEND Aside from weddings and funerals how often do you attend religious services... more than 
       once a week, once a week, once or twice a month, a few times a year, seldom, or never?

                             Mid-
                             July March March Mid-Nov March Sept June June
                             2003 2003  2002   2001   2001  2000 1997 1996
   15  More than once a week  16   15    15     16     17    17   12   14
   25  Once a week            27   24    25     26     26    28   26   25
   15  Once or twice a month  15   15    17     14     17    16   17   17
   19  A few times a year     18   21    18     17     17    17   20   21
   16  Seldom                 14   15    15     16     15    13   15   13
    9  Never                  10    9     9     10      7     8   10    9
    1  Don't know/Refused      *    1     1      1      1     1    *    1
  100                        100  100   100    100    100   100  100  100

Q.27 How important would you say religion is in your own life... very important, fairly important, 
     or not very important?

                            Very       Fairly    Not very  Don't know/
                          Important  Important  Important   Refused
     October, 2003           62         24         13       1=100
     Mid-July, 2003          61         24         14       1=100
     December, 2002          60         27         12       1=100
     March, 2002             63         24         12       1=100
     Mid-November, 2001      61         24         14       1=100
     March, 2001             64         23         12       1=100
     March, 2000 (Gallup)    61         27         12       *=100
     June, 1998 (Gallup)     62         25         12       1=100
     June, 1996              59         26         15       *=100
     March, 1994 (Gallup)    59         29         11       1=100
     March, 1988 (Gallup)    54         31         14       1=100
     March, 1984 (Gallup)    56         30         13       1=100
     April, 1978 (Gallup)    52         32         14       2=100
     November, 1965 (Gallup) 70         22          7       1=100


IF R ATTENDS RELIGIOUS SERVICES AT LEAST ONCE OR TWICE A MONTH (ATTEND=1,2,3):
Q.28 As I read a list of issues, please tell me whether or not the clergy at your place of worship 
     speaks out on this issue... First, (READ AND RANDOMIZE; OBSERVE FORM SPLITS)

                                        Yes      No             DK
  a.F1  Abortion                        63       35           2=100    (N=429)  
        June, 1996                      60       39           1=100

  b.F1  Prayer in public schools        58       39           3=100    (N=429)
        June, 1996                      56       41           3=100

  c.F2  The situation in Iraq           53       45           2=100    (N=419)
        March, 2003                     57       41           2=100

  d.F2  The death penalty               28       69           3=100    (N=419)
        June, 1996                      27       70           3=100

  e.F1  Issues related to homosexuality 55       44           1=100    (N=429)

  f.F2  Laws regarding homosexuals      41       57           2=100    (N=419)
        June, 1996                      36       62           2=100

  g.    Candidates and elections        26       72           2=100    (N=848)
        June, 1996                      21       77           2=100

  h.  The recent removal of a monument 
      of the Ten Commandments from an 
      Alabama courthouse                40       57           3=100    (N=848)


IF YES (1 IN Q.28eF1 or Q.28fF2) [N=413]:
Q.29 When your clergy has spoken about homosexuality, do they say it is something that should be 
     ACCEPTED, something that should be DISCOURAGED, or don't they take a position on the issue?

       4   Accepted
      76   Discouraged
      16   No position
       2   Other / Multiple positions [VOL.]
       2   Don't know/Refused [VOL.]
     100


ASK ALL:
Now thinking generally about homosexuality in America 
Q.30 Would you say your overall opinion of [READ, ROTATE] is very favorable, mostly favorable, 
     mostly unfavorable or very unfavorable?

                            Very      Mostly    Mostly       Very      Don't Know/
                          Favorable Favorable Unfavorable Unfavorable    Refused
     a.   Gay men            8         30         21          29          12=100

     b.   Lesbian women      9         30         22          26          13=100


Q.31 Do you think more acceptance of gays and lesbians would be a good thing or a bad thing for 
     the country or that it would not make much difference either way? 

                                        Kaiser Family       
                                         Foundation
                                           2000
     23   Good for country                  29
     31   Bad for country                   23
     42   Wouldn't make much difference     44
      4   Don't know/Refused (VOL.)          3
    100                                     99


Q.32 In your opinion  when a person is homosexual is it... 

                                                            L.A. Times
                                                             Dec 1985
     30   Something that people are born with, Or               20        
          Is it something that develops because 
     14    of the way people are brought up, Or                 22
     42   Is it just the way that some people prefer to live?   42
     14   Don't know/Refused (VOL.)                             16
    100                                                        100


Q.33 Do you think a gay or lesbian person's sexual orientation can be changed or cannot be changed?

     42   Can be changed
     42   Cannot be changed
     16   Don't know/Refused (VOL.)
    100

ASK FORM 1 ONLY [N=735]:
Q.34F1 There is a lot more discussion about homosexuality these days. Who is the first homosexual 
       person that comes to your mind?  Just the first person that you can think of. 
       [OPEN END, ENTER FIRST PERSON LISTED ONLY.  IF NO GENDER OFFERED I.E. "My cousin" OR "My 
       neighbor" PROBE TO IDENTIFY GENDER "Is this neighbor a man or a woman"]

     50   NET: Male
     23   Male friend / coworker / acquaintance / neighbor
     21   Male public figure [SPECIFY]
      6   Male relative

     23   NET: Female
     14   Female public figure [SPECIFY]
      7   Female friend / coworker / acquaintance / neighbor
      2   Female relative

      1   Myself/My partner/significant other
     24   Can't think of anyone
      2   Refused
    100

     39   NET: Personal acquaintance/relative/self
     35   NET: Public figure


ASK ALL, UNLESS PUNCH 1,2,4,5,7,8 IN Q.34F1 AUTO-CODE AS 1 "YES" [N=1281]:
Q.35 Do you have a friend, colleague, or family member who is gay?

                                   Mid-
                                   July   Aug     Aug
                                   2003   2002    1999
     60   Yes                       45     45      39
     38   No                        52     53      60
      2  Don't know/Refused (VOL.)   3      2       1
    100                            100    100     100

[Note: This question cannot be trended to earlier surveys because it was
asked as a part of a larger set of questions about homosexuality, which may
have had the effect of reminding people about gays and lesbians with whom they
were familiar. From August 1999 to Mid-July 2003 the question was asked as
part of a list of items and there was only minimal content related to
homosexuality elsewhere in the surveys. Sample size does not add to the full
sample N due to programming error on the first night of interviewing, where
only Form 1 was asked this question.]


ASK ALL:
Thinking more generally 
Q.36 I'm going to read you some statements, some of which you will probably agree with, others you 
     will probably disagree with.  The first is  [INSERT ITEM, RANDOMIZE], do you completely agree, 
     somewhat agree, somewhat disagree, or completely disagree with this statement. 
     [INSERT ITEM, RANDOMIZE]

                                              ---- AGREE ----    --- DISAGREE --- 
                                                  Comp-  Some-        Comp-   Some-  Mixed    DK/
                                              Net letely what    Net  letely  what   Opinion  Ref.
a. Society should not put ANY restrictions
   on sex between consenting adults in the
   privacy of their own home                  80    61    19      13     8      5       1     5=100
      2000 (Kaiser Family Foundation)         88    76    12      10     6      4       *     2=100

b. Gay and lesbian couples can be as good 
   parents as heterosexual couples            54    30    24      37    26     11       3     6=100
      2000 (Kaiser Family Foundation)         56    34    22      39    28     11       1     4=100

c. Allowing gay and lesbian couples to 
   legally marry would undermine the
   traditional American family                56    40    16      39    24     15       2     3=100
      2000 (Kaiser Family Foundation)         54    37    17      42    26     16       1     3=100

d. Gay marriage would go against my 
   religious beliefs                          62    50    12      33    23     10       1     4=100
      1996 (Newsweek)                         67    --    --      29    --     --      --     4=100


Q.37 Now thinking about movies, television, and books you see these days  Do you think the 
     entertainment media are including too many gay themes and characters these days, not enough 
     gay themes and characters, or about the right amount?

                               Kaiser Family 
                                Foundation
                                   2000
     48  Too many                   37
      3  Not enough                  5
     40  Right amount               52
      9  Don't know/Refused (VOL.)   6
    100                            100

Q.38 Compared with people in general, are gays and lesbians less likely to have stable, long-term 
     relationships, or don't you think so?

     24  Less likely to have stable, long-term relationships
     52  Don't think so
     24  Don't know/Refused
    100

Q.39 Do most gay men have a better sense of style than most heterosexual men, or don't you 
     think so?

     34   Gay men have a better sense of style
     44   Don't think so
     22   Don't know/Refused
    100

Q.40 Do you think most gays and lesbians are unhappier than most other people, or don't you 
     think so?

     24   Gays and lesbians are unhappier
     57   Don't think so
     19   Don't know/Refused
    100

Q.41 Would you say [READ AND ROTATE]

     76   It doesn't bother you to be around homosexuals [or]
     20   It makes you uncomfortable to be around homosexuals
      4   Don't know/Refused (VOL.)
    100

IF OPPOSE GAY MARRIAGE (3,4 IN Q.17), ASK [N=898]:
Q.42 Earlier you said you were opposed to allowing gays and lesbians to marry legally. What would 
     you say is the MAIN reason you object to allowing gays and lesbians to marry?  [OPEN END: USE 
     PRECODES OR ENTER RESPONSE VERBATIM.  INTERVIEWER: PROBE ONCE FOR CLARITY if response is 
     simply "It's wrong" or "It's bad" or "I just don't agree with it" or similarly vague answers] 

     28   Morally wrong / A sin / The Bible says
     17   Against my religious beliefs
     16   Definition of marriage is only for a man and a woman
     12   It's just wrong / I just don't agree with it
      9   Not natural / Not normal
      4   Purpose of marriage is to have children
      2   Bad for children
      2   Opens the door to other immoral behavior
      1   Undermines traditional family
      1   They don't have stable, long-term relationships
      1   Causes economic/legal problems
      3   Other
      4   Don't know/Refused
    100

ASK ALL:
Q.43 Do you think it is a sin, or not, to engage in homosexual behavior?
IF "IS A SIN" (1 IN Q.43) ASK:
Q.44 In your mind, is homosexual behavior more or less sinful than adultery, or are they both 
     about the same?

                                    L.A. Times
                                     Aug 1987
     55   Is a sin                     69
       5   More sinful than adultery   --
       3   Less sinful than adultery   --
      44   About the same              --
       3   Don't know/Refused (VOL.)   --
     33   Is not a sin                 21
     12   Don't know/Refused           10
    100                               100
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