Chicago, IL -
Television shows with gay characters such as Glee
, Modern Family
and The New Normal
are influencing American voters on gay marriage.
According to a poll conducted by The Hollywood Reporter
in conjunction with partner Penn Schoen Berland, such television shows have increased support for marriage equality.
"This data would suggest that seeing this stuff makes it more socially acceptable," said pollster John Penn
. "Views on gay marriage have exponentially gone in its favor since 2002."
Twenty-seven percent of respondents said watching gay-inclusive TV increased their support for gay nuptials, while 6 percent said it made them less supportive.
Eleven percent of Mitt Romney supporters said they would stop watching Modern Family
if the show's gay characters got hitched. Such a wedding would have zero impact on President Barack Obama supporters. Michelle Obama and Ann Romney have included Modern Family
on their lists of favorite shows.
"Obama voters are watching and saying, 'OK, I've changed because of what I've seen,'" said Penn. "Some Romney voters are saying, 'The more I see it, the more I'm against it.'"
Younger viewers are influenced by television in greater numbers.
"Almost twice as many voters under 35 say these shows made them more in favor of gay marriage compared with voters over 35 – 38 percent versus just 20 percent," Penn said.