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Latino LGBT Youth Cite Family Acceptance As Top Concern, Poll Says

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Teen boys sitting on the grass using their cellphones, holding hands. | Getty/File

Family acceptance is the top problem facing Latino LGBT youth, according to a new survey released by the League of United Latin American Citizens.

LULAC co-authored the report with the Human Rights Campaign, titled “Growing up LGBT Latino in America,” and released it on Monday to coincide with the opening of the group’s week-long 84th annual National Convention.

Slightly less than half of LGBT Latino youth, some 47 percent, say they have an adult in their family they can confide if they feel worried or sad, compared to 81 percent of their non-LGBT Latino peers, according to the survey of more than 10,000 youths aged 13 to 17.

Roughly 57 percent of Latino LGBT youth say their family is accepting of LGBT people -- lower than white LGBT youths (66 percent) and higher than the figure for black LGBT youths (48 percent) and Asian/Pacific Islanders (46 percent).

The pro-LGBT theme of this year’s conference reflects a growing sentiment within the Hispanic community that conflicts with the traditional image of a machista culture heavily influenced by Catholicism.

"The deck is stacked against young people growing up lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender," LULAC’s Executive Director Brent Wilkes said, according to a press release. "LULAC is rooted in civic participation and protecting residents from discrimination or indifference along with social ostracism."

Exit polls from the November elections showed strong support for gay marriage among Latinos. Some 59 percent of Hispanic voters said their state should recognize same-sex marriages -- well above the general public (48 percent).

Likewise, Latin America has seen a wave of legislation guaranteeing LGBT rights in recent years. Argentina and Mexico City legalized same-sex marriage and adoption by gay and lesbian couples, while several other countries in the region have recognized same-sex unions. Puerto Rico passed an anti-discrimination law last month aimed at defending the rights of the LGBT community.

Check out the 6 most LGBT-friendly countries in the slideshow below.

Also on The Huffington Post

Most LGBT-Friendly Countries In Latin America
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