Most Republican voters now believe same-sex relationships are ‘immoral’, study finds

Photo of two women sitting on a wall kissing - one woman is holding a small Pride flag

After a year of relentless attacks on the LGBTQ+ community, a majority of Republican voters now believe that same-sex relationships are “immoral”.

Only 41 per cent of Republicans say same-sex relationships are morally acceptable, a Gallup poll published on Friday (16 June) found. 

The number marks a drop of 15 percentage points from 2022, when a majority of Republicans (56 per cent) thought that same-sex relationships were morally acceptable; Gallup pointed out that this was the largest single-year change in the past two decades.

Startlingly, the number of Democratic voters who approved of same-sex relationships also fell in 2023, from 85 per cent to 79 per cent. 

Overall, 64 per cent of American voters say that same-sex relationships are morally acceptable, marking them as only slightly more morally acceptable than buying and wearing clothes made of animal fur (60 per cent).

Gallup said: “Americans’ opinions on the morality of various issues have mostly become more liberal over the past two decades, but the two biggest changes this past year, on same-sex relations and the death penalty, have been in a more conservative direction. 

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“Still, Americans are less conservative on these two issues than they were 20 years ago. Republicans, who increasingly identify as conservative on social issues, are largely responsible for the changes this year.”

The poll comes after a “state of emergency” was declared for LGBTQ+ people in the US by the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) due to laws banning gender-affirming care, drag, and trans people playing sports on the correct team passing in states across the country.

For the first time in the organisation’s history, HRC explained it was declaring a state of emergency on 6 June following an “unprecedented and dangerous spike in anti-LGBTQ+ legislative assaults sweeping state houses this year”. 

Kelley Robinson, the group’s president, said: “LGBTQ+ Americans are living in a state of emergency. The multiplying threats facing millions in our community are not just perceived, they are real, tangible and dangerous.

“In many cases, they are resulting in violence against LGBTQ+ people, forcing families to uproot their lives and flee their homes in search of safer states, and triggering a tidal wave of increased homophobia and transphobia that puts the safety of each and every one of us at risk.” 

Shortly after HRC’s statement, the Department for Homeland Security warned that the LGBTQ+ community could be at risk of terror attacks during the 2024 US presidential race.

US President Joe Biden said in response: “Over a dozen states have enacted anti-LGBTQ+ laws that violate our most basic values and freedoms as Americans, and are cruel and callous to our kids, our neighbours, and those in our community. 

“The Biden-Harris administration stands with the LGBTQ+ community and has their backs in the face of these attacks.”

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