Why Conservatives Support Nondiscrimination Protections for LGBTQ Americans
Standing against discrimination is consistent with the conservative values of individual freedom and hard work. Increasingly, conservatives are leading the conversation of why LGBTQ people should be protected from discrimination. (Click here to download a PDF version of this resource.)
Conservatives Support Freedom from Discrimination
- As Americans, we agree that everyone should have the freedom and opportunity to work hard, earn a living, provide for their families and contribute to communities. Those aren’t just conservative values — they’re American values.
- As a proud conservative, standing up against discrimination is only natural. We value individual liberty, hard work, and freedom for all. We believe that opportunities should not be withheld based on who you are or who you love.
- Laws that protect gay and transgender people from discrimination are a genuine reflection of conservative values. We believe in the Golden Rule – treating others as we want to be treated. Freedom and fairness for all make our country stronger.
- Conservatives value freedom and believe that anyone who works hard should be able to achieve the American Dream. Everyone should be free to go about their lives — including shop in a store, check in to a hotel, eat at a restaurant, apply for a job, and rent or own a home — without fear of harassment or discrimination. Nondiscrimination protections remove barriers to those simple freedoms.
- Many people are surprised to learn that there are no explicit federal laws protecting LGBTQ people from discrimination, and that most states still lack state-level protections. Americans in all 50 states should be free to live without the fear of discrimination.
LGBTQ Freedom is Good for the Economy
- Discrimination is bad for business. That’s why so many business leaders and small business owners support nondiscrimination protections for LGBTQ people, and why 82 percent of the nation’s largest companies have adopted comprehensive nondiscrimination policies that include sexual orientation and gender identity.
- Business leaders agree that anti-LGBTQ discrimination is an economic liability, and that protections matter to corporate culture, values, and bottom lines. Business leaders want their workplaces and the communities where they operate to be inclusive places where everyone is treated with dignity and respect.
- Job creators seek states and communities that are welcoming to everyone, including their families, employees, and customers. Years of research show that cities and states with nondiscrimination protections for LGBTQ people are more attractive to highly educated, innovative, and creative people — people who drive invention, entrepreneurship, and economic growth. Nondiscrimination laws will ensure that every state can benefit from a creative and innovative work environment.
People of Faith are Called to Oppose Discrimination
- The Golden Rule teaches us to treat others as we want to be treated, including those who may seem different from us. When we do that, we are truly living our faith.
- Faith calls us to honor and treat all people with respect. LGBTQ people are no exception and should have the same basic protections as everyone else – to live their lives with safety, privacy, and dignity.
- People of faith believe that we are all created in God’s image, and that we are all deserving of equal rights and protection under the law. Failing to protect others hurts us all. We all should be able to live, work, and access basic services free from discrimination and harm.
All families should be able to work and live in our communities, and all families deserve these basic protections regardless of one’s theological positions. Excluding some people from civil protections is an affront to the call to justice.
- Freedom of religion is important to all of us, including LGBTQ people. It is fundamental to our nation’s promise of freedom and fairness for all. That’s why it’s already protected by the First Amendment to the Constitution. And the good news is that will never change. Our nation has long balance freedom of religion with freedom from discrimination, and safeguarding religious freedom is not at odds with protecting LGBTQ people from discrimination.