Over the last decade, we have witnessed a dramatic shift in how the public and the courts view same-sex marriage. Much of the reporting on this issue focuses on the overwhelming levels of support for same-sex marriage from the millenial generation. But as victories pile up for the marriage equality movement, we know much less about how young people view the LGBT agenda, and whether young people of color believe the LGBT agenda best serves their communities. These questions are particularly important as LGBT organizations negotiate policies such as the Employment Non-Discrimination Act and prepare strategies around other important LGBT issues.
Our latest report provides answers to these questions using a nationally representative survey of 1,500 young people between the ages of 18 and 30 conducted during June 2014. Our main findings are as follows:
- More Black (80.2%) and Latino (74.9%) youth believe the marriage equality movement has taken too much attention away from other important LGBT issues compared to white youth (64.0%).
- More Black youth (58.0%) believe that LGBT issues in communities of color are not well-represented by mainstream LGBT organizations than Latino (45.9%) and white youth (42.7%).
- More than a third (35.0%) of Black youth reported that HIV/AIDS is the single most important issue for LGBT organizations to address. Latino youth reported that bullying (20.1%) is the most important issue, while white youth (21.3%) reported that same-sex marriage is the most important issue.
- Young people of color are more supportive of policies that would provide sensitivity training for police around transgender issues (77.8% and 73.2%, respectively) and require health insurers to provide coverage for transgender health issues (64.5% and 65.8%, respectively) than white youth (66.2% and 56.3%, respectively).