Obama gains few extra votes from gays and lesbians

President Barack Obama has barely moved the needle among the small percentage of voters who are gay or lesbian, despite his public support for lifting curbs on open homosexuality in the military and revamping marriage to include same-sex couples.

A massive Pew poll of 121,000 people found that only 3.4 percent declared themselves to be sexual minorities.

But only 71 percent of gays or lesbians who are registered voters declared their support for Obama, said the survey, which was conducted from June to September.

Twenty-two percent of the surveyed gays and lesbians predicted they would vote for Gov. Mitt Romney.

That’s a very small shift from the 2004 and 2008 elections, when three out of four self-identified lesbians or gays voted for the Democratic candidate.

“Exit poll data basically shows the same thing” as the new survey, said Gallup editor-in-chief Frank Newport.

In 2008, for example, Obama won 70 percent of votes from gays and lesbians, while Sen. John McCain took 27 percent.

In 2004, Sen. John Kerry won 77 percent of the vote, while President George Bush won 23 percent.

In 2000, Vice President Al Gore won 71 percent, while Bush had 23 percent.

Obama’s scored at 71 percent, despite his repeated public support for causes associated with gay and lesbian advocacy groups.

In December 2010, Obama pushed Congress to allow the Pentagon to accept open homosexuality in the armed services. The legal change allows gays and lesbians to serve in the military while showing their sexual orientation.

In May 2012, Obama announced his support for single-sex marriage, despite widespread public opposition to same-sex marriage.

Progressives say gays and lesbians should be allowed to have the legal amenities and social status that usually accompany marriage.