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A survey conducted by the Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Center reveals that most of its GLBT respondents believe that Ellen DeGeneres is the public figure who has "had the most positive impact on society's perception and attitudes toward lesbian and gay people" by virtue of her honesty about her sexual orientation. The survey, released in conjunction with National Coming Out Day, put DeGeneres at the top of the list with 49% of votes, followed by Rosie O'Donnell and Congressman Barney Frank tied with 11% each. "Polls have shown that when an individual knows someone who is gay or lesbian, that person is far more likely to support equal rights for the GLBT community," Jim Key, chief public affairs officer of the LAGLC, said in a statement. "Because Ellen has been so visible and because she has such a warm, fun, and caring persona, people feel like they know her. When she bravely, loudly, and proudly came out, I'm sure there are many people who suddenly felt like they 'knew' their first gay person." Fifty-six percent of respondents also indicated that the media should ask the sexual orientation of a politician who has supported antigay legislation.
DeGeneres's coming out had "most impact"