New Poll: Majority of Americans Oppose Religious Refusals, Anti-Transgender Restroom Restrictions

By Adam Polaski • March 10, 2017 • 3:18 pm

A new poll released today from PRII finds that a majority of Americans are opposed to anti-LGBT religious refusals legislation and anti-transgender restroom restrictions.

In 2017 alone, many bills have been introduced with the sole purpose of singling out LGBT people and making discrimination against this vulnerable community easier. (You can take a look at all of the anti-LGBT legislation filed in Freedom for All Americans’ Legislative Tracker.)

But the poll today demonstrates that these anti-LGBT bills are out of step with a broad majority of Americans. Take a look:

Most Americans oppose attempts to restrict restroom access for transgender people:

Overall, 53% of Americans oppose laws that would “require transgender people to use bathrooms that correspond to their sex at birth rather than their current gender identity,” PRRI found. Significantly, an additional 8% of Americans reported no opinion on the question, bolstering arguments that these anti-transgender laws are distractions – made-up, contrived legislation with no other outcome than making society less safe for transgender people.

Support for LGBT-inclusive non-discrimination protections remains broad and strong:

A supermajority of Americans – 70% – say they are in favor of laws protecting LGBT people from discrimination in employment, housing, and public accommodations. In 31 states, statewide laws do not fully protect LGBT people from discrimination like this.

The support cuts across all political ideologies – with 60% of Republicans saying they favor LGBT non-discrimination protections.

Part of this support may stem from the fact that most Americans understand that LGBT people face significant discrimination. The PRRI poll found that 61% of respondents said gay and lesbian people face a lot of discrimination, and 64% agreed that transgender people face a lot of discrimination in the United States.

People of faith broadly oppose laws allowing people to cite religious beliefs as an excuse for discrimination:

PRRI broke down different religious denominations’ views on policies that allow people to cite their religious beliefs as an excuse for discrimination. Almost every religious group – from white mainline Protestants to Catholics to black Protestants to non-Christians – strongly opposed laws like these.


National support for the freedom to marry is stronger than ever:

Demonstrating that once people are more familiar with their LGBT friends and neighbors, their support for equality grows, the PRII poll today found that 63% of Americans support the freedom to marry for same-sex couples. As recently as 2013, just over 52% of Americans supported the freedom to marry, a remarkable growth.

Support is geographically diverse – with a majority in every region, from 69% of the Northeast, 68% of the West, 67% of the Midwest, and 54% of the South.

[fbcomments url=""]