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There has been an ‘alarming’ backslide in support for LGBT people in the US

Nick Duffy January 25, 2018
WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 19: U.S. President Donald Trump stands in the colonnade as he is introduced to speak to March for Life participants and pro-life leaders in the Rose Garden at the White House on January 19, 2018 in Washington, DC. The annual march takes place around the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, Supreme Court decision that came on January 22, 1974. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

Donald Trump: most definitely not a queer icon (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

There has been a backslide in support for LGBT rights for the first time in history, polling has confirmed.

GLAAD today announced the findings of its fourth annual Accelerating Acceptance report, a national survey among more than 2,100 U.S. adults conducted on GLAAD’s behalf by The Harris Poll.

For the first time in the report’s history, GLAAD and The Harris Poll found a drop in acceptance of LGBTQ people in the US.

Less than half of adults (49 percent) reported being “very” or “somewhat” comfortable with LGBTQ people across seven situations – a decline from 53 percent last year and the first time the Accelerating Acceptance report has shown a drop in acceptance for LGBTQ people.

There was a decline in non-LGBTQ adults’ comfortability around LGBTQ people, particularly in more personal situations.

President Donald Trump (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Compared to last year’s results, significantly more respondents noted that they would be uncomfortable learning a family member is LBGTQ (30 percent vs. 27 percent), having their child’s teacher be LGBTQ (31 percent vs. 28 percent), and learning their doctor is LGBTQ (31 percent vs. 28 percent).

Meanwhile, 55 percent of LGBTQ adults reported experiencing discrimination because of sexual orientation or gender identity. This number is a significant 11 percentage point increase from the previous year (44 percent).

John Gerzema, CEO of The Harris Poll, said: “An unseen casualty of a tumultuous year has been the LGBTQ community.

“In a single year, we’ve seen significant declines from what had been an increasingly accepting America to one now less supportive. And this lost ground of acceptance cuts across many in American society.”

GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis said: “In the past year, there has been a swift and alarming erosion of acceptance which can only be fought by being visible and vocal.

“This report puts numbers to the bias that too many LGBTQ Americans have recently experienced. GLAAD is fighting the rollback by enlisting philanthropic leaders like the Ariadne Getty Foundation and global changemakers attending the World Economic Forum to use their platforms and move our community forward.”

The results were announced during a panel discussion hosted by GLAAD and The Ariadne Getty Foundation at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

The body also launched the GLAAD Media Institute today during a panel discussion at the World Economic Forum.

US President Donald Trump steps off Air Force One (Photo by MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)

The Institute is a groundbreaking new training, consulting, and research venture that builds upon and furthers GLAAD’s successful legacy of leveraging media, business, and cultural institutions to effect positive change with advocates around the world.

The Ariadne Getty Foundation is a founding partner of the GLAAD Media Institute and announced a $15 million pledge to build the Institute as well as advance GLAAD’s work to invest in LGBTQ ventures, including media and small businesses, that have social impact worldwide.

“The time is now for world leaders and all of us to stand by marginalized communities and promote equality and diversity,” said Ari Getty, President of the Ariadne Getty Foundation and current member of GLAAD’s Board of Directors. “GLAAD has always been the leader in creating a better world for LGBTQ people. This lead gift will not only ensure that work continues, but will hopefully inspire others to join us in our pursuit of 100 percent acceptance.”

Ari Getty continued: “My family has long stood alongside individuals who are too often left behind as social justice progresses. Now more than ever we must join hands and raise our voices to combat oppression and move forward towards a world of equality, regardless of gender, race, sexual orientation, geography, or creed.”

The Foundation, under the leadership of Ari Getty, improves the lived experiences of marginalized individuals and communities through large-scale investments and hands-on advocacy.

“This important lead gift continues Ari’s legacy of strategic philanthropy to improve the lives of countless people around the world,” said GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis. “We will not stop until there is 100 percent LGBTQ acceptance everywhere. Though these results show the tide is turning against LGBTQ people, this critical lead gift will enable GLAAD to both leverage the media to change the world, and invest in the best storytelling to bring to life the importance and value of achieving 100 percent LGBTQ acceptance.”

More: Donald Trump, Gay, LGBT, Trump, US, US

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