What Makes a Family? To more Americans, gays with kids count



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“Social change usually occurs at a glacial pace,” he says. “What we’re seeing is a very rapid shift in people’s views of who they consider to be a family.”
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the team concluded that a variety of recent societal shifts were key to this accelerated rate of change, including the fact that homosexuals have become increasingly open with friends, family, and acquaintances about their sexual orientation. In 2003, 58 percent of the survey’s respondents said they didn’t have any family or friends who were gay. By 2010, that proportion had fallen by almost a third: only 40 percent said they didn’t have any gay friends or relatives. Only 18 percent said they didn’t know anyone who was gay.
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While you might presume that those with a gay family member were the most open to gay marriage, Powell says that people with gay friends are more likely to be swayed.
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“By 2010, the proportion who say homosexuality is the result of either ‘genetics’ or ‘God’s will’ is over 60 percent, and those who say it’s caused by bad parenting has gone way down. That means the number who think [sexual orientation] cannot be changed has gone up.” Interestingly, the 15 to 20 percent who say homosexuality is the result of God’s will also tend to be among the most open to gay rights, he says.
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Gay people being able to get married matters, whether they do or not:
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Finally, there’s the effect of what Powell calls “the power of law.” “In 2003, many people said gay couples didn’t qualify as ‘families’ because they couldn’t get married,” he says, and only 26 percent of all respondents disagreed with that idea. “But once gays were allowed to be legally married, even in just a few states, more people (59 percent by 2010) were willing to describe a married gay couple without children as ‘a family.’ ”
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http://www.newsweek.com/2010/10/04/what-makes-a-family-more-americans-say-gays-count.html