In the most recent Pew Values study, only 28% of respondents agreed that school boards should have the right to fire teachers who are known to be homosexual, while 66% disagreed — in 1987 when this question was first asked, a 51%-majority agreed with the statement. As many Pew surveys over the past several years have shown, the public is increasingly accepting of homosexuality. However, in other surveys, Pew has found less dramatic movement on the broader question of whether homosexuality should be accepted or discouraged by society. In the mid-1990s, narrow pluralities said homosexuality should be discouraged by society; more recently, roughly half have said it should be accepted, compared with somewhat fewer who said it should be discouraged (49% vs. 44% in 2004). Read More

Russell Heimlich  is a former web developer at Pew Research Center.