If the stock photo above makes you uncomfortable, survey says: you are not alone. It's the top answer on the board.
A report published by the American Sociological Review suggests that Americans are nominally OK with gay people as long as gays don't shove their gayness in anyone's face, including each other's. In a survey of 1,000 Americans, 70 percent said they supported inheritance rights for gay couples, but far fewer were cool with gay PDA.
Of the heterosexuals interviewed, 95 percent said they approved of a scenario in which a straight couple kissed each other on the cheek in public, but only 55 percent approved of a gay couple doing the same. When asked if it were a lesbian couple, 72 percent of straight people approved.
Over 20 percent of heterosexuals interviewed disapproved of gay men telling the respondents about their relationships.
More straight men disapprove of homosexual public acts of affection than women, though the paper doesn't reveal how large the percentage difference is.
If you are one of those people who believes in gay equality, but only in certain scenarios, you are one of those people who does not believe in gay equality.
Here is an expert opinion to explain the disparity:
Long Doan, an Indiana University Ph.D. candidate who authored the report, said the disconnect between straight America's view on rights and public acts of affection is in "a long line of literature showing that Americans tend to move quicker on these formal types of attitudes."
"We had civil rights laws long before we had positive attitudes toward ethnic minorities," Doan said, adding that Americans support rights because they see themselves as egalitarian, regardless of their personal views on homosexuality.
"The more informal, subtle types of prejudice linger much longer, because that actually requires people to change their views," he said.
I don't know what the solution is to destroying said prejudice, but it seems like dissolving the line between theoretical and practical equality is worth a shot. By exposing people to the reality of what gay is, and not just some sanitized idea of it, we can expose the reality of our humanity. That's easy to say, and not as easy to do, though:
More surprising perhaps — and not explained by the data — is that gay men disapprove of same-sex public displays of affection more than they do heterosexual displays. Gay men condone straight couples French kissing in public 6 percent more than they approve of gay male couples.
The reason for that can't necessarily be written off as self-hatred, though—it could have to do with gays knowing that showing that degree of affection could make them targets for violence or just homophobia in general. You know, the kind of prejudice admitted by the majority of the heteros who participated in this survey.