Poll: Most Republicans Would Be Upset If Their Child Was Gay

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August 18, 2014 9:40 a.m.

Six in 10 Republicans would be upset if they had a child who told them he or she was gay, according to a new McClatchy-Marist poll.

Twenty-three percent of Republicans surveyed said they’d be “very upset” and 37 percent would be “upset.” Just 38 percent said they’d either be “not very upset” or “not upset at all.”

By contrast, a total of 28 percent of Democrats would be either “very upset” or “upset” if their child came out as gay or lesbian. Seventy percent said they wouldn’t be upset.

Among all national adults surveyed, 35 percent said they’d be upset while 62 percent said they would not be.

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The findings reflect significant partisan divisions in attitudes toward gay rights amid a national sea change for gay equality. A similar poll conducted in 1985 by the Los Angeles Times found that a whopping 89 percent of adults said they’d be upset if their child was gay; just 9 percent said they’d be okay with it.

In the McClatchy-Marist poll, large majorities in every political category said they had a friend, colleague or family member who was gay.

Large majorities of voters across the spectrum said they have no problem voting for a candidate nominated by their party who was gay or lesbian, including 67 percent of Republicans and 84 percent of Democrats.

The survey interviewed 1,035 adults across the United States from Aug. 4-7, and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.

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