First, who are the 10% who would vote for a homosexual but not an atheist? Are there large numbers of gay, or gay-friendly, fundamentalists that I don't know about? Is this the Ted Haggard group?
Second, I wonder what the answers would have been if the pollsters had used the term "agnostic"? It may not trigger the same negative reactions that "atheist" does.
Third, why wouldn't people vote for an atheist? Is it a supposed lack of values? My hope is that if presented with an actual atheist who had good values, people might think differently. (E.g., if Ronald Reagan had suddenly declared in 1983, "hey, I'm an atheist.")
MORE: The poll itself has more info. Support from "liberals", "moderates" and "conservatives" (in that order):
homosexual 81 57 36
atheist 67 48 29
So, 33% of self-identified "liberals" would not vote for an atheist! I wonder what they think "liberal" means?
The poll also notes:
Only about one in five Americans said they would vote for an atheist when the item was first asked in the late 1950s, compared with 45% today. Just 26% said they would support a homosexual presidential candidate in 1978, compared with the current 55%.
Well, it's a good trend anyway. Pretty slow-moving, though.
ADDED: I also wonder how people would react to "deist." My sense is there are a lot of people out there who believe generally in God, but do not subscribe to a particular religion (at least not strongly).