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Survey: Americans are more comfortable with a gay president than an evangelical one

Mike Huckabee, who's running for the Republican presidential ticket, is an evangelical Christian and a big opponent of LGBT rights.
Mike Huckabee, who's running for the Republican presidential ticket, is an evangelical Christian and a big opponent of LGBT rights.
Matt Sullivan/Getty Images

Not only are most Americans ready for a gay or lesbian president, but a new survey shows they're more comfortable with a gay or lesbian presidential candidate than an evangelical Christian one.

The survey of 1,000 US adults, conducted in April for the Wall Street Journal and NBC News, found 61 percent of Americans would be enthusiastic about or comfortable with a gay or lesbian presidential candidate. In comparison, 52 percent said they'd be enthusiastic about or comfortable with an evangelical Christian running for president.

This is an 18-point improvement for the gay or lesbian candidate: in 2006, 43 percent of Americans said they'd support a gay or lesbian person running for president. But the numbers for evangelical Christians have been roughly the same for years, rising from 41 percent since 2006 but hovering around 50 percent since 2008, according to previous polls from the Wall Street Journal and NBC News.

More broadly, this latest survey shows growing support for LGBT rights, which evangelical Christians by and large oppose. Gallup surveys show that support for same-sex marriage has climbed from 27 percent in 1996 to 55 percent in 2014, while 66 percent of Americans said in 2014 that consensual gay and lesbian relationships should be legal, up from 43 percent in 1977.

Watch: How marriage equality swept America

(Hat tip: Janie Valencia at the Huffington Post.)