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A rainbow flag is displayed during the Portland Pride Parade on June 16. Photo: Diego Diaz/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

People ages 18–34 — a mix of millennials and Gen Zers — feel less comfortable around LGBTQ people than their older counterparts, new polling from Harris Poll/GLAAD shows.

Why it matters: This age group has shown its lowest level of LGBTQ support since 2015, when GLAAD began its annual "Accelerating Acceptance" survey. GLAAD's findings also contradict the assumption that younger generations — which have grown up with legalized same-sex marriage and better LGBTQ media representation— are more accepting of LGBTQ rights than previous generations.

What they found:

  • Only 45% of 18- to 34-year-olds are comfortable with LGBTQ people across 7 proposed social situations — a drop from 53% in 2018. This is the second consecutive year that this age group has been less comfortable with LGBTQ people, according to Harris Poll/GLAAD.
  • 18- to 34-year-olds were the only age group to decline in this area in 2019. The most significant decline came from women aged 18–34, for whom comfort levels fell from 64% in 2018 to 52% in 2019.
  • 80% of non-LGBTQ Americans support equal rights for the LGBTQ community, despite "the erosion in comfortability."

The intrigue:

“We typically see in our surveys that younger Americans can be counted on to advocate for issues like gender equality, immigration and climate change. ... So it is surprising to see a notable erosion of acceptance for the LGBTQ community, which counters many of the assumptions we make about their values and beliefs."
— John Gerzema, CEO of Harris Poll

Methodology:

  • Survey respondents were asked to respond to 7 social situations: Learning a family member is LGBTQ; learning their doctor is LGBTQ; having LGBTQ members at their place of worship; seeing an LGBTQ co-worker’s wedding picture; having their child placed in a class with an LGBTQ teacher; seeing a same-sex couple holding hands; and learning their child has a lesson on LGBTQ history in school.
  • GLAAD's survey was conducted online among a nationally representative sample of U.S. adults (18+), which yielded a sample of 1,970 adults of whom 1,754 were classified as non-LGBTQ adults and used in the analysis. The online survey was administered Jan. 8–11.
  • Harris Poll, which conducted the survey with GLAAD, told Axios it does not use a margin of error to measure its surveys.

Meanwhile, the Public Religion Research Institute) found that support for LGBT nondiscrimination protections declined slightly among younger Americans in 2018.

Go deeper: Trump targets LGBTQ protections

Go deeper

"Atmospheric river" to whiplash Northern California from drought to flood

A map depicting 24-hour preciptation forecast (inches) ending Monday at 5a.m. local time. Photo: NOAA

A series of powerful "atmospheric river" storms are set dump historic amounts of rainfall across parts of drought-stricken California and the Pacific Northwest from this weekend, forecasters warn.

Why it matters: A strong atmospheric river, packing large amounts of moisture, is predicted to whiplash Northern California from drought to flood.

10,000 trees near giant sequoia groves to be removed after fires

A firefighter looks up at a giant sequoia tree after fire burned through the Sequoia National Forest near California Hot Springs, California, on Sept. 23. Photo: Patrick T. Fallon/AFP via Getty Images

"Upwards of" 10,000 trees near giant sequoia groves have been "weakened by drought, disease, age, and/or fire" and must be removed in the wake of California's wildfires, the Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks announced.

Why it matters: The damage to these trees, considered "national treasures," and work to remove them means a nearby key highway must remain closed to visitors as they have "the potential to strike people, cars, other structures, or create barriers to emergency response services," per a statement from the national parks.

Obama stumps for McAuliffe, urges Virginians not "to go back to the chaos"

Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Former President Barack Obama framed a Nov. 2 gubernatorial race as a bellwether for the Democratic Party and the country, telling a crowd at a campaign event for Terry McAuliffe on Saturday that "I believe you, right here in Virginia, are going to show the rest of the country and the world that we're not going to indulge in our worst instincts."

Why it matters: With just over a week to go before Election Day in the Commonwealth, McAuliffe is bringing out the big guns. The 44th president appeared on the campus of Virginia Commonwealth University to urge supporters to get to the polls.