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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, January 29, 2016 - Volume 44 Issue 05
GLAAD's 'Accelerating Acceptance' report provides snapshot of Americans' feelings about LGBT issues
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GLAAD's 'Accelerating Acceptance' report provides snapshot of Americans' feelings about LGBT issues

by Shaun Knittel - SGN Associate Editor

Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) released its annual 'Accelerating Acceptance' report on January 20, a survey conducted on GLAAD's behalf by Harris Poll, which reveals a startling level of complacency and ambivalence among Americans on LGBT issues.

The survey - fielded online from October 5-7, 2015 among 2,032 adults ages 18 and older - also shows growing levels of acceptance among non-LGBT Americans.

'Complacency is the enemy of social progress,' said GLAAD CEO & President Sarah Kate Ellis. '2015 was a monumental year for the LGBT community, but marriage equality is a benchmark - not a finish line. The hard work of legislative change must go hand in hand with that which cannot be decided in a courtroom: changing hearts and minds.'

Among the survey's key findings:

o Perhaps because marriage equality was so widely covered by the media in 2015, half (50%) of all non-LGBT Americans are now under the false and potentially dangerous impression that 'gay people have the same rights as everybody else.'

o Further, many Americans are unconcerned by or unaware of LGBT issues. Over a quarter (27%) of non-LGBT Americans say that violence against transgender people is not a serious problem. This, despite the fact that at least 21 transgender women, mostly women of color, were murdered in the U.S. in 2015.

o Similarly, 37% of non-LGBT Americans say that homelessness among LGBT youth is not a serious problem. According to The Williams Institute at UCLA, however, approximately 40% of all homeless youth identify as LGBT.

o Roughly a third of non-LGBT Americans profess no strong opinion about important LGBT issues. Interestingly, this ambivalence appears across segments, including allies.

o Still, Americans are also growing more comfortable with LGBT people. In fact, in most situational questions surveyed (6 of 7), Americans report less discomfort with LGBT people than was reported the previous year.

The full report is available at: http://glaad.org/acceptance.

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