Support for LGBT Acceptance Drops, Say Activists Who Can’t See How They’re Responsible

GLAAD (formerly the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation) reports that:

While the past several decades have yielded remarkable progress for the LGBTQ community in the United States, acceptance of LGBTQ people is slipping, and discrimination is increasing, in the face of attacks, bias, and erasure by the Trump administration. This is the first time the Accelerating Acceptance report has shown a drop in acceptance for LGBTQ people.

Even if you accept GLAAD’s finding of a drop in acceptance, here’s an alternative explanation to “Erasure by the Trump administration,” whatever Trump is Hitler hysteria that’s supposed to invoke. How about this: Forcing religiously conservative (but NEVER Muslim) small business owners to craft creative expressions for same-sex weddings seems to many Americans who are willing to live and let live as, well, ugly authoritarianism. Or that the federal government decreeing that public schools make restrooms and locker rooms open to use based on gender identity rather than anatomy seems to many who are OK with same-sex marriage to be an ill considered overstep.

And then there’s this.

The LGBT activist movement has squandered a great deal of goodwill. Blaming Donald Trump won’t restore it.

More. Andrew Sullivan has similar thoughts:

The mainstream media has no other explanation than, well, Trump, and a culture more tolerant of intolerance. That may well be part of it. But no one seems to notice the profound shift in the tone and substance of advocacy for gay equality in recent years, and the radicalization of the movement’s ideology and rhetoric. That is also surely having an impact. …

As many of us saw our goals largely completed and moved on, the far left filled the void. … “Live and let live” became: “If you don’t believe gender is nonbinary, you’re a bigot.” I would be shocked if this sudden lurch in the message didn’t in some way negatively affect some straight people’s views of gays.

The left’s indifference to religious freedom — see the question of Masterpiece Cakeshop— has also taken a toll. So have the PC bromides of the LGBTQRSTUV reformulation.

16 Comments for “Support for LGBT Acceptance Drops, Say Activists Who Can’t See How They’re Responsible”

  1. posted by Jerrel Towery on

    Interestingly, the first thought this liberal/progressive had upon reading the GLAAD commentary was, on what basis are they blaming President Trump for the change in public opinion? I clicked on the study and found no empirical evidence whatsoever concerning the cause for the change in public opinion. Likewise, I saw no empirical evidence supporting Mr. Miller’s conclusions. It seems that pure ideology is determining the “cause”. If one is a liberal, it is Trump’s and the right wing’s fault. If one is a conservative it is the liberals’ fault. Over the last decade there have been immense changes in the public attitude toward lgbt rights. Could it perhaps be simply cyclical? Is it possible that after a period of great social change the public simply takes a step back to adjust and to absorb the major changes that have taken place? Or can it be some unknown combination of circumstances or facts, or some fault in the polling process? I hate the blaming of Trump for every thing that is anti lgbt just as I hate the blaming of liberals for everything the right wing finds to be negative. Blind ideology only embarrasses oneself and hurts one’s credibility under such circumstances.

    Reply
    • posted by Matthew on

      Saying el-jibbity instead of gay is part of the reason for the backlash.

      Reply
  2. posted by Jorge on

    How about this:… The LGBT activist movement has squandered a great deal of goodwill.

    That doesn’t really explain why this year rather than last year is the first year acceptance of LGBT people in mere social contexts has decreased.

    To be perfectly frank, I think President Trump is the culprit, but not in the way GLAAD would insinuate. The reason is related to the rising power and boldness of white nationalism and white supremacism. The progressive gays had it more right when they rejected him from the first.

    The President can dismiss and dither over Puerto Rico, “part of America”, when it gets felled by a hurricane, say that some of the people who marched in the deadly “Unite the Right” rally are decent people, call Haiti and African countries a vulgar name, and yet dare to show up at black civil rights christianings and declare that he is not a racist. Stephen Miller takes a victory lap for the White House and kills DACA deals, Richard Spencer travels the country unmolested, Omarosa goes into self-exile, and nothing happens! Political correctness is dying, and no one cheers louder at its fading than the alt-right. These are not people who hold arrogant views on race and Republican-lite views on everything else.

    This has power. This has consequence. People listen, slowly changing their inner and outer beliefs. The fresh scent of freedom mixes with bloodstained brimstone. The result is a country that is becoming more like President Trump. Not a dictatorship, not a white supremacy. Only this: a meaner, crueler America.

    Reply
  3. posted by JohnInCA on

    The first “gay wedding” case I can think of, Elane Photography, got started in 2005. Even the cases that are currently being decided by SCOTUS were started back in what, 2012?

    So even if you want to argue that we’re seeing a backlash to the half-dozen popularized non-discrimination cases involving gay folk, what you’re really arguing is that the anti-gay PR push stepped things up in the last year, since we didn’t see this in the previous ten.

    And here’s the real fun part! Even if you’re right, that its’ non-discrimination cases that are the “problem”, that’s not the fault of any organization. Those are, to a one, driven by individuals, not organizations.

    Reply
    • posted by Jorge on

      So even if you want to argue that we’re seeing a backlash to the half-dozen popularized non-discrimination cases involving gay folk, what you’re really arguing is that the anti-gay PR push stepped things up in the last year, since we didn’t see this in the previous ten.

      Not really. This is only the fourth year of this particular GLAAD survey.

      Reply
      • posted by Matthew on

        GLAAD are a bunch of sellouts. Remember when they actually cared about the defamation of gays and lesbians? That was 20 years ago when I came out of the closet.

        Reply
  4. posted by Tom Scharbach on

    When you have only one eye, you see through that eye, which is fine if you want to look narrowly in the direction that eye is pointing, but you miss half of what you could see in your peripheral vision if you had two eyes.

    I think that’s the case here.

    Stephen’s doing his fear-ridden “backlash” routine, yet again, laying blame on “the gays” without taking “the rising power and boldness of white nationalism and white supremacism” and the drumbeat of fear-mongering that underlies the “take our country back” populism into account. The last time he was all het up about the “backlash” was when public support for same-sex marriage dropped temporarily after the 2004 anti-marriage amendment onslaught; rather than look at the onslaught and the effect of the anti-gay fear-mongering that was at the heart of the anti-marriage strategy, Stephen looked solely to “the gays”, who were pushing too hard for marriage equality.

    Similarly, GLAAD’s conclusion that the Trump administrations dismal record on LGBT issues is the culprit turns a blind eye to the cultural effects of the rise of the Alt-Right and white identity politics.

    I think Jorge got it right:

    “This has power. This has consequence. People listen, slowly changing their inner and outer beliefs. The fresh scent of freedom mixes with bloodstained brimstone. The result is a country that is becoming more like President Trump. Not a dictatorship, not a white supremacy. Only this: a meaner, crueler America.”

    GLAAD’s poll (conducted by Harris) found that strong support for equal rights for gays and lesbians remains more of less constant (79% in this poll). What made news is that the poll indicated that an increasing percentage indicated that they would be somewhat or very uncomfortable having LGBT members of their faith communities, learning that a family member was LGBT, having their child taught by an LGBT teacher or study LGBT history in school, finding out that their doctor was LGBT, or even seeing same-sex couples holding hands.

    It is that finding that is making the news. It would seem to have little or nothing to do with “forcing religiously conservative (but NEVER Muslim) small business owners to craft creative expressions for same-sex weddings”, as Stephen so narrowly asserts.

    Reply
    • posted by Jorge on

      Similarly, GLAAD’s conclusion that the Trump administrations dismal record on LGBT issues is the culprit turns a blind eye to the cultural effects of the rise of the Alt-Right and white identity politics.

      You know GLAAD’s CEO actually wrote at a broader statement in the study. “This change can be seen as a dangerous repurcussion in the tenor of discourse and experience over the past year. 2017 brought dangerous rhetoric toward marginalized communities to the forefront of American culture.” It’s just that she only gave LGBT-related examples, and then on the website she joins the rest of GLAAD in eating bats and smashing guitars. I, in turn, will add Antifa and “Punch a Nazi” to the mix of extremist movements that have brought forth this dangerous rhetoric.

      Reply
      • posted by Matthew on

        They’re just another transcult shakedown group. They don’t speak for gays anymore.

        Reply
  5. posted by MIMI on

    I tend to agree with Stephen Miller. Brother and cousin gay. Grew up with them, no issue about supporting and valuing them as treasured family members. My children were flower children at bro’s wedding.

    The line that has been crossed for me is the whole transgender pronoun diversity nonsense. I believe the jury is still out as to the reason why perfectly formed human beings are driven to mutilate themselves and pretend to be something they are not. I am mystified why adults act like petulant toddlers and demand to control the language that others use. (We are talking about language used when these folks are not even present, for pete’s sake). We are telling our youngsters that they have to deal with it when a person of the opposite sex wants to share the spaces where youngsters perform their private body functions, even though these youngsters are at stages of life where they are particularly aware of their body and the differences between the sexes.

    I believe every person deserves to love and be loved. But letting the mentally ill ride on gay people’s coattails is too much. Gay people should really consider if it is in their best interest to align with this transgender crowd.

    Reply
    • posted by Matthew on

      “I believe every person deserves to love and be loved. But letting the mentally ill ride on gay people’s coattails is too much. Gay people should really consider if it is in their best interest to align with this tr*nsg*nd*r crowd.”

      It isn’t. Jenn-durr is a war on women and gay men waged by heterosexual men as a means of social control. Homosexuality challenges it. Trans sets it in stone.

      I, for one, will not support any gay organizations that are trans-inclusive in any way. I will condemn and ostracize gay public figures who endorse it. They are not our allies. They are our enemies. After I saw that Buck Angel documentary and saw that this was a lesbian changing to please her homophobic body, I wanted no part of this anymore for any reason.

      I never went out of my way to be mean to any of these people. I never objected to drag or cross-dressing and I still don’t. But everyone has their limits, and I draw the line at taking women-only spaces away from women, at trying to deny the manhood of men who don’t fit into oppressive sexual stereotypes, and at any of this being done to children.

      It’s the pro-trans crowd who are the bigoted ones, and they grasp at every straw to justify projecting their bigotry onto gays who rightly object to this. I even stopped coming here once they started saying el-jibbity instead of gay.

      Reply
  6. posted by Tom Scharbach on

    As an aside, I took the time to actually look at the GLAAD report, and I’m wondering if this isn’t a tempest in a teapot.

    The uptick in straight Americans reporting discomfort is up 2-4% in the various categories over 2016 levels, but the uptick is not particularly significant, in my view.

    Here are the percentage of straight Americans reporting “discomfort” in various situations:

    (1) Having LGBT members at my place of worship:
    2014 – 26%
    2015 – 22%
    2016 – 22%
    2017 – 24%
    Net change 2014-2017: -2% reporting discomfort

    (2) Learning a family member is LGBT:
    2014 – 32%
    2015 – 27%
    2016 – 27%
    2017 – 30%
    Net change 2014-2017: -2% reporting discomfort

    (3) Learning my doctor is LGBT:
    2014 – 31%
    2015 – 27%
    2016 – 27%
    2017 – 30%
    Net change 2014-2017: -1% reporting discomfort

    (4) Learning my child has a lesson on LGBT history:
    2014 – 37%
    2015 – 37%
    2016 – 34%
    2017 – 37%
    Net change 2014-2017: No change

    (5) Seeing an LGBT co-worker’s wedding picture:
    2014 – 27%
    2015 – 26%
    2016 – 25%
    2017 – 27%
    Net change 2014-2017: No change

    (6) My child having an LGBT teacher:
    2014 – 30%
    2015 – 29%
    2016 – 28%
    2017 – 31%
    Net change 2014-2017: +1% reporting discomfort

    (7) Seeing a same-sex couple holding hands:
    2014 – 36%
    2015 – 29%
    2016 – 29%
    2017 – 31%
    Net change 2014-2017: -4% reporting discomfort

    The pattern is identical in almost all cases — “discomfort” levels dropped 3-5% between 2014 and 2015, stayed level in 2016, and increased 2-5% in 2017. In four of the cases the “discomfort” level in 2017 is lower than it was in 2014, in two of the cases 2014/2017 “discomfort” levels are identical, and in one case the “discomfort” level in 2017 is higher than it was in 2014. Not much of a swing.

    The number of straight Americans reporting “discomfort” in each of the categories has remained relatively level, and the number straight Americans reporting “discomfort” are a distinct minority. To my mind, that does not reflect a turnaround or give credence to a significant backlash.

    My guess is that “discomfort” levels are going to range from 25% to 30% for the next decade, because that percentage roughly reflects the percentage of conservative Christians in our society. So I suspect that we are dealing mostly with hype.

    Reply
  7. posted by Tom Scharbach on

    More. Andrew Sullivan has similar thoughts:

    Gee, why am I not surprised?

    When the homocons adopt a meme, the echo chamber reverberates, each homocon repeating the meme and using the other’s repeats to bootstrap.

    A thought: The number of times a meme is repeated does not affect its validity. It is either right or wrong, or more accurately, a bit right and a bit wrong.

    Reply
    • posted by Matthew on

      Someone who says “homocon” and el-jibbity more than gay is not to be trusted.

      Reply
    • posted by Matthew on

      In other news, I want to ask Andrew Sullivan “where have you BEEN for the past 14 years?” That article is the best one he’s written in years.

      Reply
  8. posted by Dennis Stone on

    We are making WAY too much of the GLAAD survey. I am a data analyst and data researcher by profession, and I have huge issues with its methodology, and with how the results have been presented.

    1. Per the fine print, the survey was conducted online. There is no indication of how rigorously the poll subjects were analyzed to ensure an accurate cross section of Americans, and also a similarly constructed cross section in comparison to prior years.

    2. There is no mention of the margin of error, which exists in all surveys. Differences in comfort levels cited are 2% or 3%. My own calculation of the margin of error produces 2.3%. It could well be more, based on what level of data normalization was done to manipulate the respondents to represent the country’s demographics.

    3. All LBGT people are combined into one group, both for purposes of classifying poll participants and in asking questions about comfort levels. To properly understand our situation it would be vital to separate out sexual orientation issues from trans issues. Perhaps comfort with gay people has improved, while comfort with trans people (possibly because of all the publicity about bathroom usage, etc.) has declined. We just don’t know. I passionately support trans people, but gay and trans people are two very distinct groups, and any valid survey should separate them to provide an accurate picture.

    4. The responses about comfort level combine both “very uncomfortable” and “somewhat uncomfortable.” Perhaps the “very uncomfortable” group has declined while the other has increased. Perhaps the reverse is true.

    5. Comfort level can be extremely misleading. It’s entirely subjective, and apparently wasn’t concretely defined for respondents. Further, strong allies of the community could still be somewhat uncomfortable learning a family member is gay, while remaining entirely supportive, and also learning to become comfortable over time. I know straight allies who are “somewhat uncomfortable” seeing two men holding hands, but simply because they aren’t used to seeing it. There is no animus.

    6. People who are uncomfortable in all the scenarios asked about remained at 14%, while people in favor of equal rights for LGBT people remained at 79%. However, neither of those stats is generally being mentioned in news stories.

    7. The results regarding discrimination faced by queer people are especially suspect. There were only 263 people in the survey identified as LGBT, and again there was no breakdown by subcategory (gay, bi, trans, etc.) Further, there is no indication that “discrimination” was strictly defined. If it was left up to the respondents to define the results lose ALL significance. What is discrimination? A perceived dirty look? And has the hyper vigilance of our current culture increased the sensitivity to the perception of discrimination? I have no idea, but the survey apparently wasn’t constructed to take such things into account.

    Despite all of these problems, and others as well, leaders of our community are rushing out to decry the findings as “alarming” and “dangerous.” There is no scientific validity to that claim.

    Reply

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