3.27.19 NYT: Support for LGBT Rights Drops Among Young Republicans

NYT: Support for LGBT Rights Drops Among Young Republicans

Today, The New York Times a new PRRI report that shows increased support for LGBT rights among most religious and political groups, except young Republicans. Citing PRRI’s latest data, the publication notes that over the last three years, support for LGBT protections among young Republicans under 30 has dropped by over 10 percentage points. Over seven in 10 (74 percent) of young Republicans supported LGBT protections in 2015, that number dropped to 63 percent in 2018, according to the 2018 American Values Atlas. “It was one of the largest and most significant drops that we saw,” says PRRI CEO and founder Robert P. Jones. “The Republican Party is becoming more ideologically pure.” Jones also spoke to the Times about the consistency in which religious groups support LGBT rights. “What’s remarkable, I think, is how consistent these numbers are,” Jones says. “When you think of our polarized political environment, there are very few issues that you can say there’s bipartisan, cross-religious support for. This is an issue you can say that on.”
Data Shows Texans Overwhelmingly Support LGBT Rights

PRRI’s latest data shows that 66 percent of Texans support laws that would protect LGBT Americans. Interviews with almost 3,000 Texans show bipartisan and cross-religious support for LGBT nondiscrimination laws, as well as majority support across five major Texas metropolitan areas. “The new analysis also finds that more than half (54 percent) of Texans oppose allowing a small business owner to refuse to provide products or services to gay or lesbian people based on the owner’s religious beliefs. Majorities of other religious subgroups in Texas also oppose religiously based service refusals, with the exception of white Catholics, Hispanic Protestants, and white evangelicals. At a recent gathering of Texas faith leaders, Rev. Dr. Michael Diaz of Dallas explained his choice to embrace LGBT rights. “The Bible I read does not tell me to discriminate against my neighbor, but to love my neighbor and to treat everyone as I would like to be treated,” he tells KXAN.
Fewer Liberal Republicans Mean Decline in LGBT Support

NBC News highlights that even though a majority of Americans support LGBT rights, overall support is declining. Between 2015-2018, overall support for LGBT protections fell by less than a percentage point, according to PRRI’s 2018 edition of the American Values Atlas. Support among Republicans dropped five points from 61 percent in 2015 to 56 percent in 2018. PRRI CEO and founder Robert P. Jones explains, “The reason why we highlighted that is because it is significant,” he continues. “We had such a large sample size, so we are really confident that the difference is real.” Jones points out that there are fewer liberals today. “There are fewer liberal Republicans today than there were in 2015 and fewer younger Republicans today than in 2015. They’ve moved into the independent category.”
Is There a Future for the Religious Left?

As more Democratic presidential hopefuls emerge, some candidates have begun highlighting their faith as a way to stand out from the crowd, says Michael J. O’Loughlin of America magazine. O’Loughlin quotes South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg who wants to see a “religious left” emerge in the United States: “I think the time has come for more of a religious left to emerge in our country that lets people know that they are not alone when they look at faith and think that it teaches us to reach out to others, to humble ourselves, to take care of the immigrant and the prisoner and frankly, the sex worker.” O’Loughlin uses PRRI data to show that as recently as 2017, 40 percent of Democrats claimed no religious affiliation.