A majority of Republicans now say same-sex relationships are immoral after a year of ‘groomer’ attacks on the LGBTQ community

A huge multicolored flag flies over Ocean Drive as people take part in the Pride Parade, during the Miami Beach Pride Festival, in Lummus Park, South Beach, Florida on September 19, 2021.

Overall, 64% of Americans say same-sex relationships are “morally acceptable,” according to Gallup.GIORGIO VIERA/AFP via Getty Images

  • Only 41% of Republicans say same-sex or lesbian relationships are morally acceptable, according to Gallup.

  • That’s down 15% from 2022, the biggest single-year change since Gallup started asking the question.

  • The drop comes amid a right-wing campaign to link LGBTQ people to ‘grooming’ and paedophilia.

The right-wing campaign aimed at tackling the LGBTQ community with false claims of pedophilia appears to be having an impact on Republican voters, the majority of whom now say same-sex relationships are immoral, according to a Gallup poll.

In last month’s survey, only 41% of Republicans said gay or lesbian relationships are morally acceptable, down 15% from 2022. This is the biggest single-year change in over the past two decades.

Democratic approval also fell from 85% to 79%.

Independents who say same-sex relationships are morally acceptable have held steady in recent years, with 73% expressing approval in 2023 from 72% the year before, according to Gallup.

The sharp drop in support from some Americans follows a particularly aggressive year of anti-LGBTQ rhetoric and politics.

Over the past year, right-wing activists and politicians have increasingly attacked the LGBTQ community, claiming that public school teachers are “preparing” students by acknowledging the existence of gay or transgender people.

The attacks have led school districts across the country to remove books from libraries on the grounds that depictions of same-sex or transgender relationships are “pornographic.”

Last year, crisis monitoring group ACLED found that right-wing extremists staged at least 55 protests explicitly targeting LGBTQ people, with increases in such actions correlated with a spike in violence against the community.

The rhetoric has also been picked up by conservative news outlets, with Fox News reporting last week that ‘critics’ accused the Biden administration of promoting ‘grooming and pedophilia’ for displaying a transgender pride flag at the White House.

Overall, 64% of Americans still say gay or lesbian relationships are “morally acceptable,” including 79% Democrats and 73% self-described independents, according to the Gallup poll.

Americans have come a long way since 2001, when just 40% of respondents to the same poll expressed approval of same-sex relationships.

Approval of gay and lesbian relationships hit an all-time high last year, when 71% of Americans told Gallup such relationships were morally acceptable, including 56% of Republicans.

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