A new report was just released by the Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI) examining demographics and Americans’ attitudes on gay and lesbian issues. There are many interesting findings for the pro-family reader.
First, the percentage of Americans who identify as same-sex attracted or transgender is extremely small.
- Only 2% of Americans identify as gay or lesbian
- 3% identify as bisexual
- Less than 1% identify as transgender
Interesting for a movement that has become so remarkably powerful and influential.
Second, LGBT-identified citizens also skew remarkably younger. While only 21% of Americans are age 18-29, 47% of gay, lesbian, bi or trans individuals are in that age range. The report holds this is “perhaps due to [this age group] being more likely than older generations to understand and express their own identities more freely.” This is a problematic conclusion. Of course, all age ranges are living in the present time where sexual diversion is not only tolerated, but widely celebrated. There is little reason one age group would be more willing to admit same-sex attraction than another. A more likely answer is that young people see being “LGBT” as a very fashionable thing. Of course, they should consider the “A” often included in the LGBT alphabet soup. It stands for “ally.” These are not those who are same-sex attracted or trans, but heterosexuals who are merely sympathetic with that movement. Heterosexual young people are more likely than their older peers to say they are allies.
Third is race distribution. Per capita, Whites are significantly least likely to identify as either same-sex attracted, bisexual or transgender. Hispanics are most likely to.
- While 62% of Americans are White, only 51% of Americans who identify as gay, lesbian, bi or transgender are.
- Sixteen percent of Americans are Hispanic, but 21% of Americans who identify as L, G, B or T are Hispanic.
- Multiracial individuals are nearly twice as likely to be represented in the gay community than in the American population at large, 4 vs. 7% respectively.
- Black and Native Americans have general parity with their percentage of the overall American population and their percentage of the LGBT community.
- Asian American and Pacific Islanders are just a bit more likely to identify as LGBT than not.
Finally, some very encouraging news. The report found those who “strongly favor” requiring vendors to fulfill all requests for gay weddings declined 5% in the last year, from 35 percent in 2018, down to 30 percent in 2019. Robert P. Jones, CEO of PRRI, told NBC news that pro-family efforts appear to have been successful here. “Among conservatives and Republicans,” he explained, “there has been a steady drumbeat around religious liberty, and I think it has started to have some traction in the bigger national debate.”
PRRI Doesn’t Understand the Issue They’re Polling On
PRRI show little understanding of the issue of religious liberty here. They asked respondents if they favored or opposed “allowing a small business owner in your state to refuse to provide products to gay or lesbian people if doing so violates their religious belief?”
PRRI and journalists should be able to recognize this issue is in no way about whether one should sell to gay or lesbian customers or not. But, as in this instance, they regularly fail to. As the question is stated, Focus on the Family would check “opposed.” A baker or florist should not refuse to sell generic cookies or carnations over the counter to someone just because they are homosexual. This is simply not the issue. Every one of the business owners being taken to court have happily sold to anyone who walks through their door. Some of these vendors employ same-sex attracted people, valuing them as they do any other employee.
The question here is about whether these vendors should be forced to use their artistic services to create goods specifically for same-sex weddings. Just as they can refuse to make Halloween cookies, obscene baked goods for bachelor or bachelorette parties, or wedding bouquets for a polygamous wedding, they should be protected against having to make the same for same-sex weddings. This right should exist even if opposition is not religiously based. All citizens should have this freedom.
Suppose Focus on the Family hired a catering company for one of our events and the owner happened to be a lesbian. We hired her company because they do excellent work at a fair price. However, she later finds out we oppose the mainstreaming of homosexuality and refuses to serve us. Should we force her to honor the contract? Of course not. She has a right to freedom of conscience. We also have the duty to be decent people and not force her to do something she cannot do, whether we agree with her not. Respecting peoples’ conviction of conscience is one of the great virtues of being an American.