Polling Reiterates Overwhelming National Support for Protecting LGBT Americans from Discrimination

By Adam Polaski • February 29, 2016 • 3:13 pm

This month, a new report from the Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI) tracked historic levels of support for LGBT-inclusive non-discrimination protections – and broad opposition to religious exemption laws that are being pushed through legislatures with unprecedented vigor.


The report’s details were significant, showing supermajority support for non-discrimination. The poll found:

  • 71% of all Americans support protections for LGBT people from discrimination in employment, housing, and public spaces like restaurants, parks, and public transportation.
  • In all 50 states – and 30 major metropolitan areas – a majority of residents support these comprehensive protections.
  • 80% of young Americans (ages 18-29) support these protections – and even among older Americans (65 and older), support is tracked at 61%.
  • Americans of all religious backgrounds strongly favor non-discrimination protections, including 57% of white evangelical Protestants, 72% of Mormons, 83% of Jewish Americans, and 81% of the religiously unaffiliated.
  • Nearly six in ten Americans also believe business owners should not be able to use their religious beliefs as a reason to refuse services to LGBT people.

Freedom for All Americans Executive Director Matt McTighe said upon publication of the poll:

“PRRI’s new report reiterates that state legislators who attempt to roll back progress and codify discrimination into law are out of touch with their constituents and threaten their own viability in office. In South Dakota, a bill is in front of the governor that is so perverse in its scope that even the most extreme violation of transgender children’s privacy could be implemented by public schools. In Georgia, a bill is pending that is specifically designed to inflict harm upon LGBT people and their families as well as victims of domestic abuse, single mothers, and other residents. Legislators should stand up for the citizens they represent. No American in any part of the country should fear discrimination because of who they are or who they love.”

Freedom for All Americans is working in a number of states this legislative session, including South Dakota, where 67 percent of residents support LGBT nondiscrimination protections; Georgia, where 66 percent are in support; and Massachusetts, where 83 percent of Bay Staters are in support, according to the new survey.

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