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Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Nation

LGBTQ voters back Biden over Trump, survey finds


Three-quarters of LGBTQ voters plan to cast their ballot for Biden in the 2020 presidential election. | Daniela Benites/The Cougar

Approximately 76 percent of people who identify as LGBTQ+ intend to vote for Joe Biden in the 2020 presidential election, according to a recent survey from the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation. 

The poll also found that while 57 percent of these voters have a favorable opinion over Biden, only half of them approve of Biden’s vice presidential running mate, Senator Kamala Harris (D-Calif.). 

The community’s skepticism of Harris may be driven by their personal views as both run for the Democratic Party, experts say.

“Party isn’t everything. There are individual characteristics of candidates that also drive these opinions,” said UH political science professor Elizabeth Simas. 

With only two major parties, choices are limited, and voters often find themselves choosing which issues matter the most to them, even when they don’t agree with every stance a party takes, Simas said. 

“Overall, concerns about the obtaining, preserving and extending rights may be very salient to members of the LGBTQ+ community,” Simas said.

The LGBTQ community is concerned about the elections as they worry about the Republican Party’s agenda for gay rights among other issues.

“All the movements that are going on right now: Black Lives Matter, Me Too and even marriage itself might go to states’ rights, there’s so many ways in which our country could regress,” said pre-nursing sophomore Anthony Nguyen. “It’s all showing us that we do need to make a change.”

For Nguyen, voting is part of making a change, and he says Biden is his only choice.

“I will vote for Biden and I’m not gonna say that Biden is the best choice out of all the candidates that could’ve been, because Joe Biden has his flaws, but Donald Trump is such a terrible option to me,” said Nguyen. 

Other LGBTQ students are worried about their safety if Trump gets reelected, as they say that during the years he’s been in office, they have experienced more discrimination for their sexual orientation.

“Since he became president, I feel like people have been very bold to do and say things that are very out of character from what I’m used to, and I just don’t feel as safe going out with my partner and being affectionate,” said public relations senior Jacqueline Rojas.

Rojas says that Trump caused the society to become more polarized, especially about the LGBTQ community, and believes the president doesn’t have their best interests in mind. 

Voting is the key to seeing change, as it could have major effects over the queer community, Rojas said.

“It feels like a lot of things are on the line that are very important to us and that directly affect us, so why would you not want to be a part of some sort of change?,” said Rojas. 

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