Poll Shows Strong Support for Right to Privacy
Support also strong from southerners,
Virginia, May 6, 2003
In a national online poll released today by Witeck-Combs
Communications and Harris Interactive, over eighty percent of American adults
surveyed opposed sodomy laws that criminalize same-sex sexual relations
between two people in a domestic partnership.
With 13 state sodomy laws still on the books across the
nation, Virginia is one of 9 remaining states in the country with a sodomy
statute, or “crimes against nature” law which applies to both same-sex and
opposite-sex couples. The other four states, Missouri, Kansas, Texas and
Oklahoma have sodomy laws that apply exclusively to gay and lesbian couples.
On March 26, the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments in
Lawrence v. Texas, challenging Texas’ sodomy law. A decision in that case is
expected in June.
“While the nation waits for the U.S. Supreme Court
decision on Lawrence, this poll clearly confirms that a majority of American
believe that government should have no role in regulating private, consensual
sexual relations between adults,” said Dyana Mason, Equality Virginia
Executive Director. “It is time for the Court to strike down all 13
remaining sodomy laws still on the books, regardless of whether they apply to
same-sex or opposite sex couples.”
Other findings of the survey include:
• 75% of self-described Republicans oppose state laws
that regulate sexual relations that occur in a private home of an adult
same-sex couple in a domestic partnership (as do 80% of self-labeled
Democrats). In addition, seven out of 10 Americans (70%) who characterize
their personal ideology as “conservative” oppose such laws.
• Regionally, 76% of Southerners, 80% of Midwesterners,
88% of westerners and 89% of Easterners oppose state laws that regulate
private relationships between adult same-sex couples in a domestic
• Most Americans also support an end to discrimination
against the gay and lesbian community in domestic partnerships, with 82%
opposing a denial of health care, 87% opposed denial of rental housing, 74%
opposed denial of certain jobs such as teaching and 59% opposed the denial of
the right to adopt children.
“This poll is a breath of fresh air for Virginia’s
gay and lesbian community, including the more than 13,000 same-sex couples
identified in Virginia during the 2000 U.S. Census,” said Mason. “With
Virginia’s crimes against nature law used time and time again to justify
discrimination, it is obvious that most Americans aren’t buying it.”
For more information on this poll, please go to: www.harrisinteractive.com.
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