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Tuesday, March 12, 2024

LGBTQ Americans

 From the Public Religion Research Institute:

Throughout 2023, PRRI interviewed more than 22,000 adults as part of its American Values Atlas, allowing for the ability to provide a detailed profile of the demographic, religious, and political characteristics of LGBTQ Americans. As in years past, this analysis measures Americans’ attitudes on LGBTQ rights across all 50 states on three key policies: nondiscrimination protections, religiously based service refusals, and same-sex marriage. This year’s report also includes new analysis of the intersection between Christian nationalist views and LGBTQ attitudes in each state.

LGBTQ Americans skew younger, more Democratic, and less religious than other Americans.
  • More than one in five young Americans (18-29 years) identify as LGBTQ (22%). One in ten people ages 30-49 (10%), 6% of people between 50 and 64 years, and 3% of people 65 years or older identify as LGBTQ. Twenty-four percent of Gen Z Americans (aged 18 to 25) identify as LGBTQ.
  • A plurality of LGBTQ Americans are Democrats (46%); nearly six in ten LGBTQ Americans consider themselves liberal politically (58%).
  • The majority of LGBTQ Americans identify as religiously unaffiliated (52%), nearly twice the rate of the general U.S. population (27%). More than a third of LGBTQ Americans identify with a Christian faith (35%) and 5% belong to non-Christian religions.
LGBTQ identification and support for LGBTQ rights differ by state.
  • Geographically, the proportion of residents who identify as LGBTQ ranges from 4% in both Alabama and South Carolina, respectively, to 16% in New Mexico.
  • Since 2016, LGBTQ identification among those under 30 has increased by about 15 percentage points in blue states and battleground states (from 10% to 25% and from 9% to 23%, respectively) and by more than ten percentage points in red states (from 9% to 20%).
  • More than seven in ten residents of red (71%), battleground (75%), and blue (79%) states favor nondiscrimination laws; however, residents of blue states are far more likely to strongly favor LGBTQ nondiscrimination laws compared with their red state counterparts (43% v. 34%).
  • Opposition to religious refusals is lowest among red state residents (54%) while two-thirds (66%) of residents in blue states oppose service refusals; 58% of residents in battleground states oppose such refusals.
  • While majorities across almost all states support same-sex marriage rights, there is wide variation across the country. In states where same-sex marriage would continue to be legal if the Supreme Court’s 2015 Obergefell decision were overturned, 72% of people favor allowing gay and lesbian couples to marry legally compared with 64% in states where same-sex marriage would no longer be legal if Obergefell were overturned.
Strong majorities of Americans — including most people of faith — support nondiscrimination protections for LGBTQ individuals, but overall support has declined.
  • More than three-quarters of Americans supported policies that protect LGBTQ Americans from discrimination in housing, employment, and public accommodation (76%) in 2023, a decline from a high of 80% the previous year, in 2022.
  • While support for nondiscrimination protections among Democrats stayed steady from 2022 to 2023, support dropped among Republicans by seven percentage points (from 66% to 59%).
  • Many religious groups — though not all — registered small drops in support for nondiscrimination protections in the past year.
  • Americans aged 18-29 show a gradual decrease in support for LGBTQ nondiscrimination laws over the last three years, declining from a peak of 83% in 2020 to 75% in 2023.
Opposition to religiously based service refusals dropped five percentage points in the past year, from 65% in 2022 to 60% in 2023.
  • A majority (59%) of independents and more than eight in ten Democrats (82%) oppose allowing small business owners to refuse service to LGBTQ people based on their religious beliefs; opposition to such refusals has declined among Republicans, from 40% in 2015 to just 34% in 2023.
  • A majority of members of most religious groups oppose religiously based service refusals; however, just 30% of white evangelical Protestants oppose religiously based service refusals, down from 37% in 2022.
Support for same-sex marriage has declined among Americans in the last year, dropping from 69% to 67%.Majorities of most religious traditions favor allowing same-sex couples to marry legally. Yet some religious groups show a decline in support from the last year, including Hispanic Catholics, whose support declined from 75% in 2022 to 68% in 2023.
Fewer than half of Latter-day Saints, Hispanic Protestants, white evangelical Protestants, Muslims, and Jehovah’s Witnesses support same-sex marriage.
Older Americans are less supportive of same-sex marriage than younger Americans. However, support among young Americans (18-29) has seen a gradual decline since 2018, when 79% of young Americans supported this right, to 71% today.

LGBTQ rights drive voting decisions of Democrats more than Republicans, younger Americans more than older Americans.
  • A plurality of Americans (38%) say that LGBTQ rights is one of various factors they will consider, 30% say they would only vote for a candidate who shares their views on this issue, and 29% say they do not see LGBTQ rights as a major issue.
  • A plurality of young Americans (38%) and members of Gen Z (38%) say they would only vote for a candidate who shares their views on LGBTQ rights.
  • Democrats are the most likely to say they would only vote for a candidate who shares their views on this issue (38%), compared with Republicans (29%) and independents (25%).
Christian nationalism Rejecters are more likely to support LGBTQ rights than Skeptics, Sympathizers, or Adherents.
  • Christian nationalism Rejecters are nearly unanimous (93%) in their support for laws that protect LGBTQ people from discrimination in housing, employment, and accommodation, including more than seven in ten (72%) who strongly favor nondiscrimination laws. Only among Christian nationalism Adherents does a majority (52%) oppose nondiscrimination laws.
  • Just 32% of Christian nationalism Adherents oppose allowing religiously based refusals compared with 85% of Christian nationalism Rejecters.
  • Just 22% of Christian nationalism Adherents support same-sex marriage, compared with 93% of Christian nationalism Rejecters.
Across all 50 states, scatter plots show a clear pattern: support for Christian nationalism is negatively correlated with support for the three policies discussed in this report.