There is good news coming from the Republican Party: For the first time in recorded history, a majority of its members say homosexuality should be accepted by society.
A Pew Research Center survey found that 54 percent of Republicans and Republican leaners believed homosexuality should be accepted by society rather than discouraged by it, according to a recent report. Only 37 percent of the right-leaning respondents said that homosexuality should be discouraged by society.
By contrast, only 35 percent Republicans and Republican leaners believed that homosexuality should be accepted by society back in 2007. In 1994, the number was slightly higher at 38 percent — indicating that there has been far more substantial progress in spreading acceptance of homosexuality within the past decade than there was within the preceding thirteen years.
Not surprisingly, Democrats and Democratic leaners were much more open-minded when it came to homosexuality — 83 percent said that homosexuality should be accepted by society and only 13 percent said it should be discouraged.
Republican progressiveness did seem to run its course when it came to women's rights. Seventy percent of the Republican and Republican-leaning men surveyed said that obstacles which once made it harder for women to get ahead are largely gone, a sentiment that was shared by 53 percent of Republican women. By contrast, 79 percent of Democratic women say that significant obstacles still exist, as do 65 percent of Democratic men.
Regardless of the views held by Republicans on homosexuality and women's rights, the GOP's current leaders are rolling back progress when it comes to at least one related issue — transgender rights. Attorney General Jeff Sessions ordered the Justice Department on Thursday to take the position that transgender individuals are not protected by a civil rights law that prohibits sex-based discrimination in the workplace. This revokes a directive issued by Attorney General Eric Holder.