Homosexuality, gender and religion Over the past two decades, there has been a dramatic increase in public acceptance of homosexuality, as well as same-sex marriage. Still, the partisan divide on the acceptance of homosexuality has widened. In views of challenges facing women, a majority of Americans say women continue to confront obstacles that make it more difficult for them to get ahead than men.
Opinions about the obstacles facing women are divided along gender lines, but the partisan gap is wider than the gender gap. Most Americans now say that it is not necessary to believe in God to be moral and have good values; this is the first time a majority has expressed this view in a measure dating back to The share saying homosexuality should be accepted by society is up 7 percentage points in the past year and up 19 points from 11 years ago.
Growing acceptance of homosexuality has paralleled an increase in public support for same-sex marriage. For more on views of same-sex marriage, see: While there has been an increase in acceptance of homosexuality across all partisan and demographic groups, Democrats remain more likely than Republicans to say homosexuality should be accepted by society. This is the first time a majority of Republicans have said homosexuality should be accepted by society in Pew Research Center surveys dating to The growing acceptance of homosexuality has been broad-based, and majorities of most demographic groups now hold this view.
However, differences remain across demographic groups in the size of the majority saying homosexuality should be accepted by society. Age is strongly correlated with support for acceptance of homosexuality.
Do women continue to face obstacles to advancement? The gender gap on this question is among the widest seen across the political values measured in this survey. Among both blacks and whites, the gender gap roughly mirrors that of the public overall. Among Hispanics, however, there is not a pronounced gender gap. Views are more closely divided among those with some college experience and those with no more than a high school diploma. There is a wide partisan gap in views of whether or not women continue to face greater challenges than men.
Republicans and Republican leaners take the opposite view: The share of the public that says belief in God is not morally necessary has edged higher over the past six years. This shift in attitudes has been accompanied by a rise in the share of Americans who do not identify with any organized religion. But the share of Democrats who say belief in God is not a condition for morality has increased over this period.
The growing partisan divide on this question parallels the widening partisan gap in religious affiliation. There is a strong correlation between age and the share saying it is necessary to believe in God to be a moral person.
Those with more education are less likely to say it is necessary to believe in God to be moral than those with less education. But the balance of opinion is reversed among white mainline Protestants: White evangelical Protestants are one group where a narrow majority says government policies should support religion: