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Thanks to shows like Glee and Modern Family, broadcast television can now boast the highest number of gays and lesbians in leading roles ever, according to the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation's annual "Where We Are on TV" study, released Thursday morning.
After numbers more than doubled last year, the number of gays and lesbians in leading roles increased again this year. Out of 600 series regulars, 18 are LGBT, accounting for 3% of series scripted regulars, up from 2.6% last year.
On cable, however, numbers are down from an all-time high of 40 gay characters in 2007 to 25 this year, in large part due to the sign-off of The L Word on Showtime.
"It is promising to see not only an increase in the quantity of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender television characters but that storylines about the LGBT community are becoming more reflective of current issues impacting our lives," GLAAD president Jarrett Barrios said in a statement. "Americans now see LGBT couples marrying, raising families, and contributing to their communities. As more and more Americans see these fair and accurate images of our community reflected on the small screen, they come to accept and better understand their LGBT family members and neighbors."
ABC leads all broadcast networks with a total of eight LGBT characters on shows including Ugly Betty, Modern Family, and Brothers & Sisters. Fox, which just two years ago had no LGBT characters on any of its shows, now offers four.
CBS is the only major network without an LGBT character on any of its scripted shows.
For a complete look at the state of LGBT people on network television, click here. The report for cable programming can be found here.