Republican Candidates Refuse to Answer First Ever Candidate Survey on LGBTQ Acceptance

October 23, 2018

GLAAD Calls Out Paltry Response from Republican Candidates to ‘Electing Acceptance’ Candidate Survey

99% of Democratic Candidates Comfortable with LGBTQ Americans in Various Scenarios, including Georgia Governor candidate Stacey Abrams, Texas Senate candidate Beto O’Rourke, Nevada Senate candidate Jacky Rosen, and congressional candidates Katie Hill, Donna Shalala, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Jennifer Wexton

New York, NY – GLAAD, the world’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGTBQ) media advocacy organization, today released findings of its first-ever ‘Electing Acceptance’ candidate survey. The survey is the only national candidate survey dedicated to LGBTQ acceptance and includes responses from 351 candidates running for U.S. House and U.S. Senate seats, as well as for Governor and Lieutenant Governor, in the 2018 midterm election.

240 Democratic candidates responded and 32 Republican candidates responded.

To view response by state visit: https://www.glaad.org/electingacceptance
For infographics: https://www.glaad.org/blog/results-electing-acceptance-candidate-survey-2018-midterm-election

The questions in this survey mirror GLAAD’s and The Harris Poll’s annual Accelerating Acceptance report, which measures acceptance of LGBTQ people throughout the United States. GLAAD asked candidates how comfortable they are:

  • “Having a member of the LGBTQ community at your place of worship”
  • “Learning that a member of your family is LGBTQ”
  • “Learning that your doctor is LGBTQ”
  • “If your child has a lesson on LGBTQ history in school”
  • “Seeing an LGBTQ co-worker’s wedding picture”
  • “With your child being placed in a classroom with an LGBTQ teacher”
  • “Seeing a same-sex couple holding hands”

“Americans deserve to know if the candidates they are putting in positions to make important decisions about their lives, their families, and their communities match their own levels of comfort and acceptance when it comes to LGBTQ people,” said Sarah Kate Ellis, GLAAD President & CEO. “Acceptance should never be a partisan issue, but the paltry response from Republican candidates is unfortunate and the latest sign that creating an America where LGBTQ Americans are accepted is not a priority for their party. These results, coupled with the Department of Health and Human Services’ planned attack on transgender Americans, is a wakeup call for LGBTQ people allies to get out and vote on November 6.” 

Key Findings of ‘Electing Acceptance’ Candidate Survey

  • 99% of the 240 Democrats who responded are categorized as ‘allies,’ meaning they responded they are ‘comfortable’ across all seven scenarios. This includes Georgia Governor candidate Stacey Abrams, Texas Senate candidate Beto O’Rourke, Nevada Senate candidate Jacky Rosen, and congressional candidates Katie Hill (CA), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (NY), Donna Shalala (FL), and Jennifer Wexton (VA).
  • Only 1% of the 240 Democratic respondents are categorized as ‘detached supporters’ who report various levels of comfort around LGBTQ people across the seven scenarios.
  • 55% of the 32 Republicans who responded are categorized as allies.
  • Only 4 incumbent Republican elected officials responded. All are categorized as allies: U.S. Rep. Carlos Curbelo (FL-26), U.S. Rep. Donald Young (AK-At Large), U.S. Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (PA-8), and Vermont Governor Phil Scott.
  • 40% of the 32 Republicans who responded are categorized as detached supporters. Notably, almost all reported discomfort when asked about their children having a lesson on LBGTQ history in school.
  • 81% of the 79 third party candidates (Libertarians, Independents, other) are categorized as allies.

Full results are available upon request.

This survey provides LGBTQ people and allies with the information necessary to vote for candidates in the November 2018 midterm elections that will champion LGBTQ equality and acceptance and help to expose those candidates determined to further the Trump Administration’s harmful and aggressive anti-LGBTQ agenda.

To see the full list of candidate responses, go to www.glaad.org/electingacceptance

GLAAD is working to ensure the largest turnout of LGBTQ and ally voters in the history of American midterm elections. Earlier this year, the organization launched the Amp Your Voice campaign and online action center, where users are encouraged to register to vote, take action on state and federal legislation, contact elected officials, and participate in other GLAAD actions to inspire LGBTQ Americans and allies to vote in the midterm elections.