CDC: Gay Population 2.3%; Thanks to Media, Americans Think Number is 13 Times Higher

Everyone knows there are gays and lesbians in everybody’s family. And no office would be complete without a sassy gay character. And just about every other kid in high school is wresting with his sexuality. I know. I watch TV.

Except it isn’t true, and the Centers for Disease Control just proved it. A new comprehensive study by the CDC with over 33,000 participants has confirmed earlier estimates; less than 3 percent of the U.S. population self-identifies as gay, lesbian or bisexual. Earlier, much smaller-scale surveys have put that number at 4 percent.

The National Health Interview Survey (NHIS), published July 15 by the CDC, was the first large-scale study of it’s kind. Data was collected from the Census Bureau, as The Washington Post reported, and 33,557 adults between the ages of 18 and 64 participated in the study, which included in-person interviews as well as follow-up phone questions.

The NHIS study found that, while 96.6 percent of adults identified as “straight”, 1.6 percent identified as gay or lesbian, and 0.7 percent called themselves bisexual. 1.1 percent responded “I don’t know” or said they were “something else” not listed.

That sure doesn’t sound like society according to Hollywood, or the news media, which have young Americans convinced 30 percent of the population is gay.

Maybe that’s because gay characters pop up in just about every product out of Hollywood. Men dress as women, give lap dances to other men and even get married in national awards shows likethe Grammys and Tony Awards. Media festivals likeSouth by Southwest and Sundance celebrate gay sex and all other kinds of relationships as completely normal. TV shows like “Modern Family,” “The New Normal” and “The Fosters” attempt to show that gay families are just as common and normal as any other family.

The news media does their part too. CNN has a particularly cozy relationship with GLAAD, the gay speech police. CNN’s Paul Begala claimed in 2011, “One out of 10 Americans is gay...At Least 10 percent of us are gay or lesbian.” The media attacks businesses and churches as being out of step with reality, and calls for children’s organizations like the Boy Scouts to include gay scout leaders.

Meanwhile the media highlights stories of transgender toddlers and invokes pity for the handful of gay students who go to Christian colleges and are open about their sexuality, then complain when they are asked to abide by the school’s religious rules.

Gay activists who say hateful things get a pass from the media too. Take Dan Savage, who has said all kinds of vile comments towards conservatives, Christians, and women, yet the media ignores his hate. The moment a Christian refers to the Bible on homosexuality, the media relentlessly attacks the person, their family, and tries to take away their livelihood. They did that with Phil Robertson of Duck Dynasty and Chic-Fil-A’s Dan Cathy.

A much higher percentage of the population believes marriage should be between man and a woman. The annual March for Marriage is the largest march of its kind yet the media refuse to report on it each year.

Kristine Marsh
Kristine Marsh
Kristine Marsh is a staff writer/analyst for the Media Research Center's Culture and Media Institute.