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Two-fifths of straight people think homosexuality is a ‘moral detriment’

Patrick Kelleher July 10, 2018
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 25: A general view during the New York City Gay Pride 2017 march on June 25, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images)

(Getty)

A new US survey has revealed that 40% of straight millennials think homosexuality is damaging to society’s moral values.

Surprisingly, 20% of LGBT+ millennials surveyed also felt that homosexuality was eroding morality.

The numbers varied significantly between different groups surveyed. 45% of African American respondents said that homosexuality was deteriorating society’s moral values, compared to 42% of Latinx people, 34% of white people and 28% of Asian Americans.

The surprising result is in sharp contrast with the rest of the survey’s results, which show broad support among millennials for LGBT+ rights.

Alba Vigaray/EPA

Of the 1,750 millennials surveyed, most were concerned by incidences of hate crimes and bullying against LGBT+ people. The survey found strong support for reducing the incidences of both.

It also revealed support for LGBT+ people to have the right to adopt children, although some groups surveyed were more likely to support gay and lesbian people adopting than transgender people.

The survey found that large majorities of participants know somebody who is gay or a lesbian, and that members of the LGBT+ community are more likely to have a sense of group solidarity than straights.

The results also suggested that 14% of millennials in the US identify as LGBT+. Larger percentages of Latinx young people identified as LGBT+ (22%) compared to African Americans (14%), white people (13%) and Asian Americans (9%).

The results show that there is broad support for LGBT+ rights, but that some millennials may have hidden homophobic beliefs.

Theo Wargo/Getty

Dr Cathy Cohen, who built the survey, addressed the surprising results in an op-ed for Advocate.

In the article, she notes that the question on morality was the only place in the survey they used the word “homosexuality”, and suggests that the word could be seen as “bad” or “deviant” by some.

“It is also possible that for millennials “homosexuality” may mean something quite different than the more familiar ‘LGBTQ’,” she said. “This is a contradiction millennials (and we) will have to work out over time.”

“It should remind us of all the work that remains to be done and how little we should take for granted when it comes to educating young people about the reality of LGBTQ lives, especially the lives of young queers of colour,” she added.

More: anti-LGBT rights, Homophobia, morality, US

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