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Overwhelming number of Americans back laws protecting LGBT+ community. Yes, even Republicans

Emma Powys Maurice March 26, 2021
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Equality Act: Most Americans back laws protecting LGBT community

LA Pride Parade in West Hollywood on June 9, 2019 (Augustin Paullier/AFPGetty)

An overwhelming majority of Americans across the religious and political spectrum support anti-discrimination protections for LGBT+ people, a new poll has shown.

The encouraging figures were released on Tuesday (23 March) as the Senate prepares to vote on the Equality Act, a landmark bill that would prohibit LGBT+ discrimination in all 50 states.

The Equality Act is fiercely opposed by almost every Republican in the Senate – but not most voters, it seems.

Seventy-six per cent of adults favour laws that would prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity in employment, housing and public accommodations, according to the 2020 American Values Atlas of the nonpartisan Public Religion Research Institute.

Its survey of more than 10,000 US adults between January and December last year found that less than 1 in 5 (19 per cent) opposed such protections.

Predictably, support was strongest among Democrats (85 per cent) and independents (79 per cent), but it also included a majority (62 per cent) of Republicans.

And although you might expect most opposition to come from religious communities, it turns out that broad majorities in every religious group actually support the bill.

The strongest religious support came from white Catholics (77 per cent), Mormons (78 per cent), Jews (79 per cent), Hispanic Catholics (81 per cent), white mainline Protestants (82 per cent) and the religiously unaffiliated (82 per cent).

Even among white evangelical Protestants, the group least likely to favour nondiscrimination laws, people endorsed these protections by nearly 2 to 1 (62 per cent to 32 per cent).

The “slim minority” of people (7 per cent) who consistently hold unfavourable views toward LGBT+ policies tend to be “older, more likely to be Republicans, [and] feel more favourably toward former president Donald Trump,” according to the report.

“The data is clear: the vast majority of Americans support LGBTQ nondiscrimination protections no matter where they live, the party they belong to, or the church they belong to,” concluded PRRI research director Natalie Jackson in a statement.

Now it’s time for Republican politicians to start listening.

Related topics: Equality Act

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