About three-fourths of homosexuals and bisexuals feel more accepted by society today than a few years ago, but about the same percentage say they have experienced discrimination, according to a survey released today.
The findings by the nonprofit Kaiser Family Foundation were based on telephone interviews with 405 randomly selected self-identified lesbians, gays and bisexuals in 15 major U.S. cities last November.
Seventy-six percent of lesbians, gays and bisexuals surveyed reported they feel more accepted. However, 74 percent reported encountering verbal abuse, while 32 percent said they experienced physical abuse or damage to their property because of their sexual orientation.
Eighty-five percent of lesbians, 76 percent of gay men and 60 percent of bisexuals said they had experienced discrimination, according to the survey.
Ninety percent of the lesbians, gays and bisexuals interviewed think the government is not doing enough to protect them from discrimination, while 64 percent said more prejudice was directed toward them than blacks.
The foundation conducted a second telephone survey with 2,283 adults to gather the public's feelings about gay and lesbian issues.
In that survey, 62 percent reported they have a friend or acquaintance who is gay, compared to 55 percent three years ago and 24 percent in 1983.
Sixty-four percent of those surveyed said they think there is more acceptance of homosexuals today than there was a few years ago, and 29 percent said that acceptance is good for the country. Forty-four percent said it didn't matter either way and 23 percent said it was bad for the country.
The margin of error for the survey of the public was plus or minus 3.5 percentage points; it was plus or minus 5.9 percent for the gay, lesbian and bisexual survey.