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JUNE 30, 1998
4:13 PM
CONTACT:  Human Rights Campaign

Poll Shows Most Americans Disagree With Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott's Attack On Gays
Poll Suggests Recent Republican Onslaught Against Gays Could Alienate Swing Voters, According to HRC
WASHINGTON - June 30 - Anti-gay comments made by Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott earlier this month do not reflect the majority opinion in this country, says a new poll released today by the Human Rights Campaign.

"Senator Lott might be scoring points with religious political activists on the right, but his views don't reflect those of a majority of American voters who believe in fairness and equality," said David M. Smith, communications director and senior strategist for the Human Rights Campaign.

The survey, conducted by Lake Snell Perry, asked 931 registered voters: Trent Lott, the Republican majority leader, recently made a statement that said homosexuality is a sin and compared it to alcoholism and kleptomania. Others say that homosexuality is inherent and not a choice, and that all Americans should be treated equally and fairly by lawmakers. Which of these statements comes closer to your own opinion? 24% said homosexuality is a sin and a disease; 55% said that homosexuality is inherent and that all Americans should be treated fairly; 14% said neither or both; 4% said don't know; and 3% refused to answer.

These numbers cut across party lines with 62% of Democrats, 57% of independents and 41% of Republicans saying that homosexuality is inherent and gay Americans should be treated equally. 18% of Democrats, 21% of independents, and 35% of Republicans saying that homosexuality is a sin.

"Strong majorities of Democratic and independent voters and a plurality of Republican voters do not share Lott's views," said Smith, who oversees polling for HRC. "This poll suggests that there could be a price to pay with key middle ground voters who object to the Republican congressional leadership's stepped up campaign-year attacks on gay people," cautioned HRC Political Director Winnie Stachelberg.


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