A poll released Wednesday finds
lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender identification has increased in
the United States.
According to polling firm Gallup, 5.6
percent of U.S. adults identify as LGBT, a 1.9 percent increase since
2017, when the firm conducted its last survey.
In 2012, Gallup found 3.5 percent of
adults identify as LGBT.
Alphonso David, president of the Human
Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation's largest LGBT rights advocate,
said that the poll confirms the growing power of the LGBT community.
“This poll confirms what we have long
known – that the LGBTQ community is powerful and a growing force in
the United States, and around the world,” David said in a
statement. “Young adults, in particular, feel empowered to publicly
claim their identities – a compelling finding and validation for
the past generations of LGBTQ advocates who have long fought for full
The poll was released as the U.S. House
is expected to vote on the Equality Act, which seeks to prohibit
discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
“As a growing percentage of the
population comes out as LGBTQ, it only amplifies the need for the
Equality Act to be passed through Congress swiftly and with
bipartisan support in order to secure consistent and explicit
anti-discrimination protections for LGBTQ people across all areas of
life,” David added, referring to the LGBT protections bill
currently before Congress.
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Pollsters found that 86.7 percent of
respondents said that they identify as heterosexual or straight,
while 7.6 percent did not respond.
The survey is based on more than 15,000
interviews conducted throughout 2020.
More than half of LGBT adults (54.6%)
identify as bisexual. Twenty-four-and-a-half percent of respondents
identify as gay, 11.7 percent as lesbian, 11.3 percent as
transgender, and 3.3 percent as queer or same-gender loving.
“Respondents can give multiple
responses when describing their sexual identification; thus, the
totals exceed 100%,” pollsters said.
The poll also found that about one in
six (15.9%) adults aged 18 to 23 (Generation Z) consider themselves
to be something other than heterosexual. Heterosexual identification
was highest among people born before 1946, with only 1.3 percent
identifying as LGBT.
“The pronounced generational
differences raise questions about whether higher LGBT identification
in younger than older Americans reflects a true shift in sexual
orientation, or if it merely reflects a greater willingness of
younger people to identify as LGBT,” pollsters said.