A Gallup poll shows strong majorities of Americans favor a broad range of rights for gays and lesbians, including adopting children, but a slim majority also say that gays should not be Boy Scout leaders.
Sixty-one percent of respondents said that gays and lesbians should be able to legally adopt children in the Nov. 26-29 poll of 1,015 adults.
When asked, though, "do you think the Boy Scouts of America should or should not allow openly gay adults to serve as Boy Scout leaders?" 52 percent answered that gays should not be allowed to serve as Boy Scout leaders, 42 percent said gays should be allowed to serve as Boy Scout leaders, and 36 percent said gays and lesbians should not be allowed to legally adopt children.
There were some partisan differences. Democrats were most favorable to the gay rights position with 60 percent saying gays should be allowed to serve as Boy Scout leaders and 75 percent saying gays and lesbians should be allowed to adopt. Republicans were the most opposed -- 26 percent would allow gay Boy Scout leaders and 46 percent support adoption rights for homosexuals. Independents were in the middle with a majority, 61 percent, supporting adoption rights, and a minority, 40 percent, supporting Boy Scout leadership.
Given the lack of polling on the Boy Scouts question, there is no way to tell whether there is a trend in favor of or in opposition to gay leaders, noted Frank Newport, editor in chief for Gallup. Also unclear, Newport added, is whether the respondents were showing support for allowing a private organization to decide who holds its own leadership positions.
Last July, the Boy Scouts of America announced that, after a two-year review, it would continue its policy of not allowing gays to become members, volunteers or leaders.
The poll showed stronger support for two other rights -- inheritance and health insurance. Seventy-eight percent support inheritance rights and 77 percent support health insurance benefits for gay and lesbian domestic partners or spouses. Though Republicans were the least supportive of these rights, a majority, 68 percent and 61 percent, respectively, supported them.
The same poll, as previously reported by The Christian Post, showed a majority, 53 percent, support legalized same-sex marriage.
The poll's margin of error is plus or minus four percentage points.