Last edited: February 12, 2005

National Poll Shows Strong Support for Right to Privacy

Support also strong from southerners, “conservatives”

Equality 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 partnership.

• 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:

[Home] [News] [Lawrence v. Texas]