🏳️🌈 Ohio's LGBTQ+ voter surge
Ohio's LGBTQ+ voting population is projected to grow more than in any other state over the next two decades.
- Just over 10% of Ohio voters identify as LGBTQ+ today, a figure that is expected to grow to 17.7% by 2040, a 74% increase, according to a report from the Human Rights Campaign and BGSU.
Why it matters: The growth of this voting bloc — driven by higher LGBTQ+ identification among younger generations — could transform the electoral landscape at local, state and federal levels, Axios' Sophia Cai reports.
- LGBTQ+ voters have higher turnout rates than others, and a record number of candidates are running for office this year.
The big picture: Ohio is one of several consequential swing states where the proportion of LGBTQ+ voters is expected to almost double between 2020 and 2040, researchers found.
Zoom in: The percentages of Ohioans identifying as LGBTQ+ by 2040 is expected to essentially double with each generation.
- 3.4% of baby boomers (born between 1946-64)
- 6.5% of Gen Xers (1965-80)
- 13.7% of millennials (1981-96)
- 30% of people born in 1997 or after
Yes, but: While our population may be moving toward more acceptance of an array of identities, Ohio politics are trending in the opposite direction. Current legislative proposals include:
- Banning transgender student-athletes and requiring medical inspections of a student's "reproductive anatomy" if anyone disputes their sex.
- Outlawing gender-affirming medical care.
- Prohibiting "divisive" topics in schools, a bill dubbed "Don't Say Gay" by critics here and in Florida, where a similar law was enacted.
Meanwhile, the State Board of Education was considering a resolution opposing federal protections for LGBTQ+ students before a vote was delayed.
What they're saying: Maria Bruno, Equality Ohio's public policy director, tells Axios she's hopeful that what the report suggests could lead to more inclusivity in the state's future.
The bottom line: "I've seen an increased interest in people being willing to say 'No, I'm not going to just leave because you're doing things I don't like. I'm going to stay here and fight for the people of this state,'" she says. "I'm excited to see that power grow and I just hope that our elected officials will take notice."
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