After two years of rising conservative rhetoric calling LGBTQ+ people “groomers” and “pedophiles”, support for same-sex relationships has dropped among Republicans.

A Gallup Poll this month found that only 64 percent of Americans said that gay or lesbian relationships were morally acceptable, a seven percent drop since 2022. The percentage of Americans saying that same-sex relationships are morally acceptable has steadily risen since 2001, when Gallup first started asking people’s opinions on the subject.

The drop was driven by Republicans. In 2022, 56 percent of Republicans said that same-sex relationships are morally acceptable. This year, only 41 percent said so. Support among Democrats dropped less precipitously from 85 percent to 79 percent and rose slightly among independents from 72 percent to 73 percent.

One Republican senator told Insider that the GOP message this year is supposed to be about attacking transgender rights and that rank-and-file Republicans are “conflating” the issues.

“I think people are conflating same-sex rights with transgender rights, and they are very different issues,” said Sen. Cynthia Lummis (R-WY). Lummis voted in favor of the Respect for Marriage Act last year but says that transgender people “tried to erase women’s rights” by “elevating the rights of transsexuals above everyone else.”

Sen. Thom Tillis (R-NC) is another Republican who supported the Respect for Marriage Act but opposes transgender rights. He too used the word “conflated” to describe the Republican base’s growing opposition to gay equality.

“I think that the general moods and attitudes are changing there,” he said. “But I think you’ve got a lot of issues that are being conflated.”

This chart shows reaction to the idea that same-sex relationships are ‘morally unacceptable,’ by political affiliation. | Gallup

Sen. J.D. Vance (R-OH) insisted that people “don’t really care about same-sex marriage” and are instead concerned about “giving hormonal therapies to 13-year-old kids,” despite the Gallup Poll showing that many Republicans, at least, are not making a distinction between sexual orientation and gender identity.

When Gallup first asked about people’s views on the moral acceptability of same-sex relationships in 2001, only 40 percent of Americans agreed that they were. A majority agreed for the first time in 2010, with 52 percent of Americans saying that they were morally acceptable.

The percentage of people saying that same-sex relationships are morally acceptable reached its high point last year at 71 percent.

Support for marriage equality remains higher. Gallup found that 71 percent of Americans support marriage equality this year, the same as last year.

This article appears courtesy of our media partner LGBTQ Nation.

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