Editor’s note - UK’s PinkNews published this report Nov. 9, 2016, following Donald Trump’s winning the Oval Office. With the 2020 election at hand, and President Trump having played his hand regarding LGBT issues, we wanted to revisit the numbers.
The news comes from the New York Times, which published the results of a national exit poll of 24,537 voters from 350 voting places across the US.
It found that although Mr. Trump enjoyed enough support in key swing states to bring about an electoral college victory, he unsurprisingly failed to win over the LGBT community.
According to the exit polling, 78% of voters who identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender backed Hillary Clinton, while 14% voted for Donald Trump. The remainder favored third-parties.
The data shows that LGBT people are far were far more united behind Clinton than nearly any other demographic, with more Hispanics voting for Trump than LGBT people.
The numbers represent a sharp decrease in LGBT support for Republicans since the last election, despite previous nominees John McCain and Mitt Romney actively opposing same-sex marriage.
In 2008, Barack Obama inspired the support of 70% of LGBT voters while John McCain won over 27%.
In 2012, 76% of LGBT people voted to re-elect President Obama, while 22% backed his rival Mitt Romney.
The collapse in support for the GOP candidate may be a reflection of personal unhappiness with Mr. Trump, but also speaks to wider dismay with the hardline Republican stances on LGBT rights.
Once a moderate on LGBT issues, Trump’s wholesale adoption of a number of hardline evangelical policy planks went largely unremarked-up outside of the LGBT press, drowned out by the candidate’s explosive gaffe-prone media profile and a string of scandals.
The Republican Platform passed earlier this year contained some of the most anti-LGBT provisions in decades, opposing a ban on ‘gay cure’ therapy and attacking same-sex adoption and parenting.
Trump had pledged to sign the ‘First Amendment Defence Act’ to permit religious homophobic discrimination, promised to “consider” appointing ultra-conservative Supreme Court justices to repeal equal marriage, and come out in favour of North Carolina’s anti-trans law – while running mate Mike Pence confirmed a plan to dismantle Barack Obama’s protections for LGBT people.
A hardline evangelical, the Governor of Indiana Mike Pence stirred up international outrage last year when he signed Indiana’s controversial ‘Religious Freedom Restoration Act’, which gave businesses the right to discriminate against gay people on the grounds of religion.
Governor Pence previously suggested that HIV prevention funding be drained in order to fund state-sponsored ‘gay cure’ therapy, and earlier this year appeared unable to answer when asked whether it should be legal to fire people because of their sexuality.
An investigation last month found that Pence approved extreme anti-LGBT articles when he was the head of the Indiana Policy Review journal in the 1990s.
In an item published under his editorial tenure in the December 1993 issue, Pence’s journal criticised The Wall Street Journal for taking part in a job fair for gay journalists – suggesting that “gaydom” was a “pathological condition”, and arguing that gay journalists would be biased in their coverage because of their sexuality.
It claimed: “The more extreme of the gay movement consider themselves members of a sexual determined political party.”
Another edition published in 1993 attacked Bill Clinton for reforms to permit closeted gay people to serve in the army.
It claimed: “Homosexuals are not as a group able bodied. They are known to carry extremely high rates of disease brought on because of the nature of their sexual practices and the promiscuity which is a hallmark of their lifestyle.”