ICYMI: New Data Shows Support for LGBTQ+ Rights Continues to Tick Upward, In Contrast to Onslaught of Anti-LGBTQ+ Legislation in States Across Country

Mar 19, 22
ICYMI: New Data Shows Support for LGBTQ+ Rights Continues to Tick Upward, In Contrast to Onslaught of Anti-LGBTQ+ Legislation in States Across Country

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New PRRI Survey Reveals Vast Majorities of Americans Support Federal LGBTQ+ Nondiscrimination Protections, Including in States with Pending Anti-Equality Legislation

Key Points:

Eight in Ten Support Nondiscrimination Laws to Protect LGBTQ+ People – Even in States with Discriminatory Bills in the Legislature

  • Support for nondiscrimination protections is the highest it’s ever been, overall, and across state, religious affiliation, and party membership: Approximately eight in ten Americans (79%) favor laws that would protect LGBTQ+ people against discrimination in jobs, public accommodations, and housing. This reflects an 11% increase in the proportion of Americans who support nondiscrimination protections since 2015 (71%).

  • State-level results show increasing support for LGBTQ+ rights even in states where laws seeking to restrict or abolish those rights are proliferating. In states with anti-LGBTQ+ legislation pending, approximately two-thirds of people support expanding, not restricting LGBTQ+ rights, and that support has increased since 2015, according to PRRI:
    • In Florida, where the “Don’t Say Gay or Trans” bill and “Stop WOKE Act” await Governor DeSantis’s signature:
      • 80% of Floridians support nondiscrimination protections

      • 66% of Floridians oppose religiously based service refusals

    • In Indiana, where a bill preventing transgender students from playing school sports is on the Governor’s desk:
      • 77% of Hoosiers support nondiscrimination protections

      • 59% of Hoosiers oppose religiously based service refusals

    • In South Dakota, where a curriculum censorship bill is on the Governor’s desk:
      • 74% of South Dakotans support nondiscrimination protections

      • 57% oppose religiously based service refusals

    • In Arizona, where a bill preventing some health care for transgender youth and a bill preventing transgender students from being able to play school sports are moving through the state legislature:
      • 77% support nondiscrimination protections

      • 67% oppose religiously based service refusals

    • In Kentucky, where a bill preventing transgender students from being able to play school sports is expected to pass both chambers:
      • 71% support nondiscrimination protections

      • 57% oppose religiously based service refusals

    • In Alabama, where the legislature is considering a bill that would make it a felony - punishable by up to ten years in jail - to provide age-appropriate, best-practice medical care to transgender youth is one vote away from the Governor’s desk:
      • 69% support nondiscrimination protections

      • 54% oppose religiously based service refusals

    • In Oklahoma, where a bill preventing transgender students from playing school sports is being considered in the House:
      • 75% support nondiscrimination protections

      • 61% oppose religiously based service refusals

  • Support for laws that protect LGBTQ people from discrimination is strongly bipartisan. Majorities of Republicans (65%), independents (82%), and Democrats (89%) favor nondiscrimination protections for LGBTQ+ people. Since 2015, support has increased among Democrats (78% to 89%), independents (73% to 82%), and Republicans (61% to 65%).

  • Solid majorities of all religious groups support laws protecting LGBTQ+ people from discrimination, including eight in ten white Catholics (80%) and Hispanic Catholics (83%) and six in ten white evangelical Protestants (61%).

  • Even in the states with the lowest support for LGBTQ+ nondiscrimination protections, approximately two-thirds or more support nondiscrimination protections for LGBTQ+ people.

Two-Thirds Oppose Religiously Based Refusals to Serve Gay and Lesbian People

  • Approximately two-thirds of Americans (66%) oppose allowing a small business owner in their state to refuse to provide products or services to LGB people if doing so would violate their religious beliefs.Opposition to religiously based service refusals has increased among all partisan groups since 2015.

View the full findings from PRRI, linked and pasted below.

PRRI: Americans’ Support for Key LGBTQ Rights Continues to Tick Upward

Eight in Ten Support Nondiscrimination Laws to Protect LGBTQ People

Approximately eight in ten Americans (79%) favor laws that would protect gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people against discrimination in jobs, public accommodations, and housing. Support for these protections has increased eight percentage points since 2015 (71%).

More than eight in ten Democrats (89%) and independents (82%) and nearly two-thirds of Republicans (65%) favor nondiscrimination provisions for LGBTQ people. Since 2015, that number has increased among Democrats (78% to 89%), independents (73% to 82%), and Republicans (61% to 65%). Notably, solid majorities of all religious groups support laws protecting LGBTQ people from discrimination, including eight in ten white Catholics (80%) and Latino Catholics (83%) and six in ten white evangelical Protestants (61%).

Even in the states with the lowest support, approximately two-thirds or more support nondiscrimination protections for LGBTQ people: Arkansas (64%, up from 56% in 2015), Mississippi (66%, up from 54% in 2015), South Carolina (67%, no change since 2015), Alabama (69%, up from 56% in 2015), and West Virginia (70%, up from 60% in 2015).

More Than Two-Thirds Support Marriage Equality

Nearly seven in ten Americans (68%) favor allowing gay and lesbian couples to marry legally. Support has increased by 14 percentage points since 2014 (54%). Republicans are now nearly evenly divided over same-sex marriage (48% support, 50% oppose), while 81% of Democrats and 73% of independents favor marriage equality. Today, majorities of most religious groups favor marriage equality. White evangelical Protestants (35%) and Latter-day Saints (46%) remain the only major religious groups with less than majority support for same-sex marriage.

Only four states have less than majority support for marriage equality: Mississippi (44%), Arkansas (47%), Alabama (49%), and South Carolina (50%).

Two-Thirds Oppose Religiously Based Refusals to Serve Gay and Lesbian People

Approximately two-thirds of Americans (66%) oppose allowing a small business owner in their state to refuse to provide products or services to gay or lesbian people if doing so would violate their religious beliefs. While attitudes have fluctuated since 2015, opposition to these religious exemptions is up seven points over this period (59%).

Nearly nine in ten Democrats (85%) and two-thirds of independents (66%), compared to only 44% of Republicans, oppose religiously based refusals to serve gay and lesbian people. Opposition to religiously based service refusals has increased among all partisan groups since 2015.

Majorities of most major religious groups oppose religiously based refusals to serve gay and lesbian people. White evangelical Protestants (38%) and Latter-Day Saints (44%) are the only two major religious groups among whom less than a majority oppose these religious exemptions.

West Virginia is the only state in which less than a majority of residents (48%) oppose religiously based refusals to serve gay and lesbian people.

The full report, “Americans’ Support for Key LGBTQ Rights Continues to Tick Upward,” is available on PRRI’s website.

The Human Rights Campaign is America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people. HRC envisions a world where LGBTQ+ people are embraced as full members of society at home, at work and in every community.

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