PRINCETON, NJ — Americans’ views toward a number of moral issues have shifted significantly since 2001. Their acceptance of gay and lesbian relations has increased the most, up 19 percentage points in the past 12 years — to a record high of 59% today. Americans’ tolerance toward having a baby outside of marriage is also now much greater, up 15 points since 2001, to the current 60%.

Americans have also become significantly more accepting of sex between an unmarried man and woman, divorce, embryonic stem cell research, polygamy, and cloning humans. The only issue that Americans have become significantly less accepting of over the last 12 years is medical testing on animals.

These data are from Gallup’s annual Values and Beliefs survey, most recently conducted May 2-7. Gallup has asked Americans about their views on many of these issues each May since 2001.

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