Catholic League president Bill Donohue is using a recent PRRI survey showing that America’s support for LGBTQ equality is at an all-time high to justify ignorant ideas.
In his latest tirade, Donohue argues that the “LGBT community is a cultural phenomenon, not a biological one," claiming that popular culture is purposely encouraging people to be LGBTQ.
The PRRI survey was conducted from March through December 2019. Results showed an overwhelming majority of respondents favored inclusive nondiscrimination laws (72 percent) and that support for marriage quality was at its highest ever.
The survey also showed that 5 percent of Americans identify as LGBTQ — 2 percent as gay or lesbian, 3 percent as bisexual, and less than 1 percent as transgender.
In a written commentary for CatholicLeague.org, Donohue argues that the mainstream media is “mass producing” LGBTQ people in high numbers by pressuring them into thinking being queer is “cool.”
“Young people have been indoctrinated into thinking that being a member of the LGBT community is at least a value-neutral attribute, and may even be cool,” Donohue writes. “This is doing a disservice to young people and it shows up in high rates of depression and suicide in this segment of the population.”
Donohue has one thing right: LGBTQ youth experience much higher rates of depression and suicide than their straight counterparts, but it’s not because culture is encouraging students to be LGBTQ. Quite the opposite, in fact.
According to Youth.gov, queer youth are more likely to experience mental health issues and suicidal thoughts because of bias, discrimination, family rejection, and other stressors associated with how they are treated because of their sexual identity or gender ID/expression.
Microaggressions like these are the leading contributor to anxiety, depression, and other challenges faced by LGBTQ youth, and is typically the springboard toward self-harm.
Donohue also argues that “dominant culture, as shaped by the schools, the media, and the entertainment industry" is "driving the LGBT agenda" and "enticing adolescents to ‘experiment.’”
Furthermore, he says that those who aren’t affiliated with religion are more susceptible to “LGBT propaganda,” therefore “it is not devout Christian young people who are at war with human nature — it is secular-minded kids who reject the idea of nature and nature’s God.”
Piggy-backing off that point, he argues that “rootlessness” is the reason why there are more LGBTQ people living on the coasts than in the South.
“Southerners are more anchored in tradition and religion than any other part of the country, while those on the west coast are the most likely to see tradition and religion as constraining, thus leaving them more susceptible to experimentation,” he says. “As to be expected, Democrats, most of whom are liberals, are more likely to be a part of the LGBT community than Republicans, most of whom are conservatives, proving once again the role of cultural values.”
What Donohue fails to mention is the fact that LGBTQ people in the South face continuous obstacles at higher rates than the rest of the country.
According to a GLAAD survey, Southern states still display a visible discomfort toward LGBTQ people than the overall national population — nearly five or six points higher.