More LGB Republicans than Democrats Wish They Were Straight, Study Finds

A new study examining the differences between LGB Republicans and Democrats found that many Republicans wish they were straight or see being LGB as a “personal shortcoming.”

The report, released by the Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law, details the differences in the ways lesbian, gay, and bisexual Democrats and Republicans viewed themselves and their sexualities. Transgender and non-binary people were not included in the study.

According to the study, 41 percent of LGB Republicans said they would want to be completely heterosexual, compared to just 17 percent of LGB Democrats. 38 percent of LGB Republicans also said that their sexuality was a personal shortcoming, with 16 percent of Democrats sharing the same sentiment.

Courtesy of the Williams Institute

The findings also reveal that LGB Democrats feel more aligned with the larger LGBTQ community; 72 percent of LGB Democrats said they feel a part of the community, while 46 percent of LGB Republicans said the same. 72 percent of LGB Democrats also said it was important to be politically active in the LGBTQ community. 36 percent of LGB Republicans agreed.

“There is a common belief that LGBTQ identity and Republican affiliation are incompatible,” Ilan H. Meyer, the study’s lead author and the Distinguished Senior Scholar of Public Policy at the Williams Institute, said in a statement. “Although they represent a small minority, some LGB people are affiliated as Republicans. However, it is striking to find how much they different from sexual minority Democrats in terms of their connections with LGBTQ communities.”

According to the Williams Institute, of the nine million LGBTQ Americans registered to vote, 50 percent are Democrats, 15 percent are Republicans, 22 percent are Independents, and 13 percent identify with another party or no party at all.

Despite their differences, LGB Democrats and Republicans did share some similar views. There was little statistical difference found in disclosure of their sexual orientation to others, and both groups held similar views about the “perceived stigma” of being LGB.

Courtesy of the Williams Institute
Courtesy of the Williams Institute

However, LGB Democrats and Republicans largely disagree on the importance of their sexual orientation. 85 percent of LGB Democrats said their sexual orientation was “a very important aspect” of their lives (compared to 68 percent of LGB Republicans), while 54 percent of LGB Republicans said their sexual orientation was an “insignificant part of who I am,” compared to 38 percent of LGB Democrats.