LGBTQ Americans Tend To Be Younger and Have No Religion

LGBTQ Americans Tend To Be Younger and Have No Religion

Bob Smietana for Religion News Service reports that overall, religious Americans say their LGBTQ neighbors should be free of discrimination when they are at work, in public or at home, and that this is true even among groups that oppose same-sex marriage. According to PRRI’s new LGBTQ survey, Smietana notes that one place they do disagree is over whether businesses have the right to refuse service. On that issue, Americans are split along religious and party lines. Democrats are twice as likely to oppose rules that allow small businesses to refuse service to gays or lesbians (86% compared with 41% of Republicans). The survey also found that about 10% of Americans overall — almost half (46%) of them under the age of 30 — identify as LGBTQ, and that LGBTQ Americans are more likely to have no religious affiliation (50%) than Americans in general (26%).

The GOP Is Turning Up the Anti-Queer Rhetoric

Amanda Marcotte for Salon reports that across the country, there’s a mounting series of legislative and rhetorical efforts by Republicans to curtail the rights of LGBTQ people to get medical care, access public spaces, and express themselves. For example, Walter Wendler, the president of West Texas A&M University recently canceled a drag show that was to be held on campus, comparing drag to “blackface,” arguing it would “denigrate and demean women.” Marcotte also notes that anti-LGBTQ activism began under the pretense of “protecting children,” but that DeSantis also announced this week that he is working to expand his “don’t say gay” law into high schools. Conversely, Marcotte cites PRRI’s new study, which shows that Americans are growing more supportive of LGBTQ rights than ever before. PRRI CEO Melissa Deckman told Salon: “We find that 80% of Americans support such protections, even in red states where such legislative activity is occuring.”

Clues in the Data Suggest That Increase in LGBTQ Acceptance May Be Skewed by Conservative Desire for ‘Respectability’

Chrissy Stroop for Religion Dispatches writes that on the basis of new PRRIdata alone, it is perplexing that we live in a country where fewer than half of the states have basic LGBTQ nondiscrimination statutes and where red states are persecuting transgender people through their bureaucracies and legislatures. Noting that PRRI’s new survey found even two-thirds of Republicans favor nondiscrimination protections for LGBTQ people, Stroop suggests that some may mislead pollsters to avoid being labeled or perceived in a certain way. She notes that this phenomenon becomes more clear when respondents were asked about how they feel toward religiously based service refusals, of which 65% of Americans are opposed to, but 57% of Republicans support. Stroop also highlights the overlap of anti-LGBTQ positions, internalized racism, and Christian nationalism, found in the survey.

Missouri Legislation Seeks To Allow Guns in Places of Worship

Brooke Muckerman for the Columbia Missourian reports that Missouri Republicans are making a push to allow firearms to be carried inside religious establishments and lessen restrictions on access to firearms, which would override existing Missouri law that restricts the possession of a concealed carry firearm in places of worship without consent or knowledge of persons in charge. One Missourian in support of the bill stated that mass shootings in churches are real, and that this bill would allow concealed carry permit holders to strengthen the force against potential shooters. Muckerman writes that another set of bills was also discussed that would disregard any federal statute that would enforce a red flag gun law. Earlier in March, a federal judge struck down a state law which fined officers who “knowingly enforce” federal bans on firearms. In response, Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey promised an appeal.

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Check out PRRI’s new interactive map with new data from our PRRI American Values Atlas, here.