GOP response for LGBTQ acceptance lags far behind other candiates

NEW YORK — Republican candidates this year refused to respond to a survey about LGBTQ acceptance, according to the organization that ran the survey.

GLAAD, an LGBTQ media advocacy organization, said GOP candidates had a poor response rate while announcing the results of the survey, “Electing Acceptance,” on Tuesday.

The survey was a national candidate survey dedicated to LGBTQ acceptance and includes responses from 351 candidates running for U.S. House and U.S. Senate seats, as well as for Governor and Lieutenant Governor, in the 2018 midterm election. 240 Democratic candidates responded but only 32 Republican candidates responded.

The questions in the survey mirror GLAAD’s and The Harris Poll’s annual Accelerating Acceptance report, which measures acceptance of LGBTQ people throughout the United States. GLAAD asked candidates how comfortable they are:

  • “Having a member of the LGBTQ community at your place of worship”
  • “Learning that a member of your family is LGBTQ”
  • “Learning that your doctor is LGBTQ”
  • “If your child has a lesson on LGBTQ history in school”
  • “Seeing an LGBTQ co-worker’s wedding picture”
  • “With your child being placed in a classroom with an LGBTQ teacher”
  • “Seeing a same-sex couple holding hands”

“Americans deserve to know if the candidates they are putting in positions to make important decisions about their lives, their families, and their communities match their own levels of comfort and acceptance when it comes to LGBTQ people,” said Sarah Kate Ellis, GLAAD president and CEO, in a press release. “Acceptance should never be a partisan issue, but the paltry response from Republican candidates is unfortunate and the latest sign that creating an America where LGBTQ Americans are accepted is not a priority for their party. These results, coupled with the Department of Health and Human Services’ planned attack on transgender Americans, is a wakeup call for LGBTQ people allies to get out and vote on November 6.”

LGBTQ acceptance

Some of the findings:

  • 99% of the 240 Democrats who responded are categorized as ‘allies,’ meaning they responded they are ‘comfortable’ across all seven scenarios. This includes Georgia Governor candidate Stacey Abrams, Texas Senate candidate Beto O’Rourke, Nevada Senate candidate Jacky Rosen, and congressional candidates Katie Hill (CA), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (NY), Donna Shalala (FL), and Jennifer Wexton (VA).
  • Only 1% of the 240 Democratic respondents are categorized as ‘detached supporters’ who report various levels of comfort around LGBTQ people across the seven scenarios.
  • 55% of the 32 Republicans who responded are categorized as allies.
  • Only 4 incumbent Republican elected officials responded. All are categorized as allies: U.S. Rep. Carlos Curbelo (FL-26), U.S. Rep. Donald Young (AK-At Large), U.S. Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (PA-8), and Vermont Governor Phil Scott.
  • 40% of the 32 Republicans who responded are categorized as detached supporters. Notably, almost all reported discomfort when asked about their children having a lesson on LBGTQ history in school.
  • 81% of the 79 third party candidates (Libertarians, Independents, other) are categorized as allies.

To see the full list of candidate responses, go to www.glaad.org/electingacceptance

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