Growing number believe sexual orientation to be birth factor, poll finds

The Baltimore Sun

A new poll released today shows the largest measured gap between Americans who believe individuals are born gay and those who believe sexual orientation is caused by external factors.

According to Gallup, 47 percent of Americans chose "nature" over "nurture" when asked about same-sex orientation, while 33 percent say they believe being gay is a product of an individual's upbringing and environment.

As recently as 2011, public opinion on the causes of sexual orientation were about equally split.

This latest poll data appears to follow a larger trend of rising acceptance of LGBT individuals. Earlier this week, Gallup released data showing an increase in support for same-sex marriage, with 53 percent of Americans now in favor.

In the long-term view, support for gay marriage has nearly doubled since the Defense of Marriage Act was passed in 1996 to restrict the federal definition of marriage to opposite-sex couples.

So what do you think? Do these numbers surprise you?

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