Only 55% of Americans Think LGBTI People Face a Lot of Discrimination
A new report from FiveThirtyEight reveals fewer and fewer Americans believe LGBTI discrimination is a major issue.
Compared to other groups in the United States, people’s impression of discrimination has changed most dramatically in regards to the LGBTI community.
While perceived discrimination of Muslims and Jewish people have largely remained the same (with some minor drops and spikes), people see an increase in perceived discrimination of black people.
LGBTI people, meanwhile, have seen the biggest drop in perceived discrimination, from 68% in 2013 to 55% last year.
Perceived discrimination in the US | Photo: FiveThirtyEight
These views are reflected in other recently conducted surveys.
A 2019 survey from Gallup found more people are ‘very satisfied’ or ‘somewhat satisified’ with the country’s acceptance of gay and lesbian people.
Further, when asked if additional civil rights laws are needed to protect LGBTI people, such as the re-introduced Equality Act, the answers were close. 51% said yes, 46% said no, and 3% had no opinion.
This is also similar to past positions on political issues.
In 2012, gay marriage was ranked the ‘least important’ issue among polled voters. Six years later, before the 2018 midterm elections, treatment of LGBTI people was once again the least important issue among all voters (although not the least important among only Democrats).
This is also consistent with Republican voters, who believe there is less discrimination in the US today.
Not the reality
For LGBTI people, however, this perception is not accurate to their experiences.
A survey from November 2018 found that a majority of LGBTI people living in the South experience discrimination and harassment, such as hearing slurs, in their lifetime. Nearly half also said they felt unwelcome at places of worship.
Among LGBTI youth, discrimination is a major problem.
A report from the University of Oregon found anti-LGBTI bullying and violence is on the rise, while a nationwide survey found 7 in 10 LGBTI students have been bullied.
A majority of LGBTI Americans (51%) say they or an LGBTQ friend or family member have experienced homophobic violence. Under Donald Trump’s presidency, this statistic has increased.
Numerous homophobic attacks have made headlines, such as in Austin and Arizona.
This reality is worse for transgender individuals, who face disproportionately high rates of violence and sexual assault.