Last week the Pew Research Center released a poll on religions, perceived similarities and differences among them, and perceived discrimination against them and other groups.
The most interesting aspect of the poll, however, had nothing to do with religion. Even though Americans perceive that members of one religion (Islam) face a large amount of discrimination, no religion or race is discriminated against nearly as much of the LGBT community.
Nearly two-thirds (64%) say gays and lesbians face a lot of discrimination.
(In comparison, only half say blacks (49%) and Hispanics (52%) suffer from a lot of discrimination, and just over a third (37%) say there is a lot of discrimination against women in the U.S. today.)
Now, this is great news. No, no, not the part about being discriminated against - we all know how that makes everything so much harder.
What is good, though, is that people are aware of the discrimination, especially when it comes to LGBT folks. Our country treasures the ideal of equality, and the greater the perception of the inherent inequality of the treatment of our community, the sooner something will be done to improve things.
The survey also noted that younger people were more likely to perceive discrimination than older people. We've always known that youth was on our side - old ideologies and prejudices tend to die out and be replaced by a younger, more accepting, more hopeful generation.
We still have a long way to go, but the fact that the public sees the unfairness in how the gay community is treated bodes well for future progress.