WASHINGTON -- Homosexual characters may be increasing in number on television and "gay marriage" may be advancing in left-leaning states, but half of Americans still think homosexuality is "morally wrong" and few find it "morally acceptable," a new Pew Research poll finds.
The survey of 4,013 adults in August shows that 49 percent say that homosexuality is morally wrong, 9 percent morally acceptable and 35 percent say it is not a moral issue. That's little changed from a February 2006 Pew poll, when 50 percent said it was morally wrong, 12 percent morally acceptable and 33 percent said it was not a moral issue.
The polls are mostly in line with Gallup surveys from the past eight years, where anywhere from between 48 and 55 percent of Americans have said they found homosexuality to be "morally wrong."
Among races, blacks in the Pew poll were most likely to say homosexuality is morally wrong (64 percent morally wrong, 5 percent morally acceptable), followed by whites (48 percent, 8 percent, respectively) and Hispanics (43 percent, 15 percent).
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The poll also found that among all adults, 53 percent oppose "gay marriage" and 39 percent support it. Blacks again led the way in opposition, with 66 percent saying they oppose changing the definition of marriage; 52 percent of whites and 49 percent of Hispanics said likewise.
Additionally, 57 percent of all adults favor and 37 percent 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." The wording references civil unions, which have been used in three states (Connecticut, New Hampshire and Vermont) as a stepping stone to legalizing "gay marriage." Including Maine -- where the law has yet to take effect and where voters will consider the issue Nov. 3 -- legislatures in three states (New Hampshire and Vermont are the others) have passed laws legalizing "gay marriage." In Connecticut, Iowa and Massachusetts, courts legalized it.
The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) on Oct. 1 released its annual "Where We Are on TV" report, showing that 3 percent of all scripted, regular characters in the 2009-10 broadcast TV season are homosexual. That's up from 2.6 percent in 2008, 1.1 percent in 2007 and 1.3 percent in 2006. The 3 percent amounts to 18 total characters on ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox and The CW.
Four shows have lead homosexual characters: ABC's "Brothers & Sisters" (character, Kevin Walker), "Grey's Anatomy (Callie Torres) and "Modern Family" (Mitchell Cameron) and The CW's "Melrose Place" (Ella Simms).
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Among the supporting homosexual characters is Roger the Alien on Fox's animated show "American Dad."