Additionally, the nature vs. nurture discussion regarding sexual orientation has been changing direction significantly over the last few years: While a remarkable majority of Americans still believed that identifying as gay or lesbian was due to upbringing or environmental factors a few years ago, the notion of sexual orientation not being a choice or acquired trait that can be stripped off has been gaining momentum recently.
When U.S. President Barack Obama supported same-sex marriage openly during his re-election campaign in 2012, almost half of all surveyed Republicans predictably stated their opinion of him had had become less favorable, however, a remarkable total majority of all polled Democrats, Independents and Republicans together said that his statement had no effect on their opinion at all, a stance shared by the general public .
All in all, while tolerance is on the rise, the younger generations in particular think that same-sex relations and same-sex marriage are not only morally acceptable, but should also be legalized by the authorities. In the United States, same-sex marriage is allowed in some states (such as New York, Connecticut, or New Hampshire), while others recognize same-sex marriages but do not perform them. In numerous other states, the issue is currently being debated, and it is expected that some of them will follow suit and either allow or recognize gay marriage in the future.