Nov 3, 2022 - Politics

🏳️‍🌈 Ohio's LGBTQ+ voter surge

Change in the share of voters in select states who identify as LGBTQ+
Data: Human Rights Campaign; Chart: Axios Visuals

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:

Meanwhile, the State Board of Education was considering a resolution opposing federal protections for LGBTQ+ students before a vote was delayed.

What's more: While Columbus is a top LGBTQ+-friendly city, Ohio as a whole trails most states when it comes to offering an inclusive climate.

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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