It's long been maintained by LGBT+ campaigners that homophobes and transphobes are not democrats and never will be, and that they represent a clear and present danger to the values of liberal, secular democracy and peace that have been cherished since the Enlightenment. Well, a new report from the study group Varieties of Democracy reveals that homophobic policy, thinking and rhetoric are always indicators of a decline in the viability of a democracy. Pink News notes "With 80 per cent of the global population now residing in a country that experiences some level of restriction on freedoms, a backslide in democracy and a rise in authoritarianism is a growing concern. The deterioration of democracy could be linked to a country’s targeting of LGBTQ+ people people through restrictive policies or a general spread of hateful rhetoric." The study was conducted with assistance from The Williams Institute at UCLA School of Law and looked in detail at several failing democracies, including Indonesia and Poland. In the latter they reported that "Poland’s decline in democratic institutions in recent years is linked to the ascendance of the country’s Law and Justice Party in 2015, which was bolstered by conservative media and far-right groups. As a result, the country saw a spike in hate speech and violence against LGBTQ+ people as well as feminists, and ethnic and religious minorities" . Ari Shaw, Senior Fellow and Director of International Programs at the Williams Institute, said "Anti-LGBTI rhetoric and policies can signal a more fundamental erosion in democratic norms and institutions ... Efforts to marginalize LGBTI people are, on their face, evidence that democracy and respect for minority rights are under threat." By contrast, says Pink News, the report concludes that "countries that are more accepting of LGBTQ+ people tend to have higher levels of liberal democracy, higher GDP per capita, more of their population in urban environments, and a generally more robust civil society." In other words, homophobes are shrieking, uncontrollably violent miscreants masquerading behind strong man savagery and religious extremism, and people who are tolerant are much more likely to build a democratic society.