Religion in Society

Poll: Gays, Sex Good; Abortion, Porn Bad

| by Baptist Press

WASHINGTON -- A majority of U.S. adults believe homosexuality, fornication and having a baby outside of marriage are morally acceptable but that abortion, pornography and adultery are morally wrong, according to Gallup's annual values and beliefs poll.

There has been little public movement since 2010 on the 17 issues Gallup includes in the survey, which involved interviews with 1,018 adults.

According to the poll, Americans lean liberal on a host of issues, viewing "gay or lesbian relations" as morally acceptable by a margin of 56-39 percent. They also view sex between an unmarried man and woman (60-36 percent) and having a baby out of wedlock (54-41) as morally permissible.

But on other issues, Americans tilt conservative. Fifty-one percent of adults say abortion is morally wrong, compared to 39 percent who say it's morally acceptable. A majority of adults also say pornography (66-30) and "married men and women having an affair" (91-7) is morally wrong.

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Meanwhile, a plurality of adults say doctor-assisted suicide (48-45 percent) is morally wrong.

Among other moral issues that a majority of Americans say are morally wrong: cloning animals (62 percent morally wrong, 32 percent morally acceptable), suicide (80-15), cloning humans (84-12) and polygamy (86-11).

Among the issues that Americans say are morally permissible: buying and wearing clothing made of animal fur (56 percent morally acceptable, 39 percent morally wrong), medical testing on animals (55-38), "medical research using stem cells obtained from human embryos" (62-30), gambling (64-31), the death penalty (65-28) and divorce (69-23).