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Support for LGBTQ rights slightly decreased in the last year, survey finds

By Nicole Chavez, CNN

(CNN) — Support for laws that protect LGBTQ people from discrimination slightly fell last year among adults in the United States, according to a Public Religion Research Institute report released on Tuesday.

But a majority of Americans continue to support LGBTQ rights and protections in housing, employment, and public accommodation, said PRRI, a nonprofit that conducts research on religion, values and public policy.

The report surveyed more than 22,000 US adults’ views on LGBTQ rights, including nondiscrimination protections, same-sex marriage, and whether small business owners can refuse to provide products or services by citing their religious beliefs.

Respondents were asked whether they favor or oppose laws that would protect “LGBTQ Americans from discrimination in housing, employment, and public accommodation,” PRRI said. Last year, 76% of adults said they supported those policies, down from 80% in 2022, according to PRRI.

Support for those protections stayed steady among Democrats in the past two years but Republicans’ support dropped from 66% to 59% during that time, the findings show.

While Americans in all age groups favor nondiscrimination laws, the PRRI findings indicate a gradual decline in support among Americans aged 18-29. In the past three years, support went from 83% in 2020 to 75% last year.

Last year, 67% of American adults said they support same-sex marriage, down from 69% in 2022, PRRI found.

Overall, the majority of Americans across all age groups and all races or ethnic groups included in the survey supported same-sex marriage.  That includes 56% who identified as Black, 63% as Hispanic, 69% as White, and 75% as Asian American or Pacific Islander, according to the report.

Among religious groups, the PRRI report shows that Hispanic Catholics had a notable decline of support for same-sex marriage, going from 75% in 2022 to 68% in 2023.

While 82% of Democrats favor same-sex marriage, Republicans appear divided on this issue, the PRRI report says. The share of Republicans who opposed same-sex marriage is 51% compared to 47% who are in favor.

LGBTQ identity

The report found that 10% of Americans identified as part of the LGBTQ community last year and described them as a “very young and diverse population.”

Twenty-two percent of Americans aged 18-29 identify as LGBTQ, compared to 10% of people ages 30-49, 6% of people between 50 and 64 years old, and 3% of people 65 years or older, according to the report.

Nearly 46% of LGBTQ Americans said they are Democrats, 30% are Independents and 8% said they are Republicans, the survey found. A majority, 52%, said they are “religiously unaffiliated.”  

When looking at race and ethnicity, a majority, 59%, of LGBTQ Americans identify as White, 20% as Hispanic, 11% as Black, 5% as Asian American or Pacific Islanders, the report said, noting this is “similar to the US adult general population.”

The findings are based on a survey of more than 22,000 randomly selected adults from across the country.

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