If you guessed that 25 percent of Americans are gay, you would be wrong, but you would be in agreement with a majority of the country, according to a new poll from Gallup:
U.S. adults, on average, estimate that 25 percent of Americans are gay or lesbian. More specifically, over half of Americans (52 percent) estimate that at least one in five Americans are gay or lesbian, including 35 percent who estimate that more than one in four are. Thirty percent put the figure at less than 15 percent.
The adult population of the United States is about 225 million. If a quarter of them were gay, that would be 56 million people — that’s a lot of gay people. That’s roughly the number of Catholics in America. No way.
The fact is, nobody really knows how many gay people there are in the United States or anywhere. The conventional wisdom used to be 10 percent, a figure that probably came from the Kinsey Report in the 1930s.
These days, anti-gay activists dispute that it’s 10 percent. They put it at 2 percent. And, as it happens, they are close, according to Gallup:
There is little reliable evidence about what percentage of the U.S. population is in reality gay or lesbian, due to few representative surveys asking about sexual orientation, complexities surrounding the groups and definitions involved, and the probability that some gay and lesbian individuals may not choose to identify themselves as such. Demographer Gary Gates last month released a review of population-based surveys on the topic, estimating that 3.5 percent of adults in the United States identify as lesbian, gay, or bisexual, with bisexuals making up a slight majority of that figure.
Out of 225 million adults, 3.5 percent is 7.8 million people.
If that’s true, it makes you wonder what all the fuss is about. Why, for example, did the 10 largest gay-hate groups feel compelled to raise $400 million to fight gay rights in 2005. Or why were anti-gay activists, including the leadership of the Mormon Church, driven to spend $40 million in 2008 to overturn marriage equality in California in 2008.
All those tens of millions to prevent small subsets of those 7.8 million people from marrying, serving in the military and other pursuits, for no other reason than their status as sinners.
You’d think Christians could find better things to do with $440 million than foment hate. You know, feed the hungry, house the homeless, heal the sick. That sort of thing.