A Facebook spokesman told The Wall Street
journal that approximately 70% of its users in the U.S. have have a gay, lesbian or bisexual friend.
The notable statistic, which was published in the Journal's Washington Wire
blog, comes as the Supreme Court is set to release rulings on same-sex marriage.
According to Anthony Martinez of Chicago-based The Civil Right Agenda, the number is significant because it indicates that America is becoming more comfortable with the LGBT community.
"There is research that shows a direct correlation between an individual knowing an LGBT person and a more positive attitude towards gay rights," said Martinez. "There is research that shows a direct correlation between an individual knowing an LGBT person and a more positive attitude towards gay rights. It is one thing to say that you don't want 'that' person to be equal because of their LGBT status, but it is quite another for you to have to say that to your family member or your friend."
The new Facebook number also corroborates a Pew survey
which indicated 87 percent of Americans personally know someone gay or lesbian. That's up from 61% in 1993. Related: SCOTUS leaves gay marriage cases Prop 8, DOMA for last day