The number of Americans who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender has risen once again. Last year, 4.5 percent of adults surveyed by Gallup said they identified as LGBT, up from 4.1 percent in 2016 and 3.5 percent in 2012. That translates to more than 11 million Americans.
The survey found that the increase has been happening most rapidly among millennials, while the share of LGBT individuals in older generations has remained nearly steady. While 8.1 percent of millennials identified as LGBT last year, just 2.4 percent of baby boomers did. Between 2016 and 2017, the number of LGBT millennials went up by nearly a full percentage point, the biggest increase ever tracked by Gallup.
More women identify as LGBT than men, with 5.1 percent of women and 3.9 percent of men self-identifying as such. The survey also found larger upticks among Hispanic respondents, while white respondents were least likely to identify as LGBT.
The study surveyed 340,604 U.S. adults reached by phone between Jan. 2 and Dec. 30, 2017. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 0.1 percentage point. See more results at Gallup. Summer Meza
Democrats still overwhelmingly believe "homosexuality should be accepted by society," with 83 percent agreeing, although 54 percent of Republicans now feel the same. "Ten years ago, just 35 percent of Republicans held this view," Pew writes, "little different than the 38 percent who said this in 1994."
Echoing that point, HuffPost senior politics reporter Jennifer Bendery recalled meeting a Republican in Wyoming who told her: "I was dead set against gay people … I was probably scared, and that completely changed. To hell with it."
Overall, 7 in 10 Americans now believe homosexuality is not something that should be discouraged by society. Learn more about the demographic differences below, and read the full report at Pew. Jeva Lange
The heads of the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps will seek a six-month review period before letting transgender people enlist in their respective branches, the Associated Press reported Friday.
Former Defense Secretary Ash Carter ended a ban on transgender service members last fall, although the military chiefs had until July 1 to decide on how policies around new transgender members would be implemented. "Officials said Friday that the chiefs believe the extra half-year would give the four military services time to gauge if currently serving transgender troops are facing problems and what necessary changes the military bases might have to make," AP writes. Three of the four services actually requested even more time, with the Army and Air Force specifically preferring two additional years to review possible concerns.
The Associated Pressnotes that "key concerns are whether currently enlisted troops have had medical or other issues that cause delays or problems with their ability to deploy or meet physical or other standards for their jobs. Military leaders also want to review how transgender troops are treated, if they're discriminated against, or have had disciplinary problems."
Although government numbers aren't public, a recent RAND study determined there are somewhere between 2,500 and 7,000 transgender service members in active duty and between 1,500 and 4,000 in reserves. Defense Secretary James Mattis will make the final decision about the potential delay. Jeva Lange