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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, March 15, 2019 - Volume 47 Issue 11
Majorities in all states and all demographics support LGBT nondiscrimination laws, new survey says
Section One
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Majorities in all states and all demographics support LGBT nondiscrimination laws, new survey says

by Mike Andrew - SGN Staff Writer

A solid majority of all Americans - across al demographic groups and in all states - now support laws protecting the LGBT community from discrimination, a poll by the Public Religion Research Institute says.

Majorities of Democrats (79%), independents (70%), and Republicans (56%) say they favor laws that would shield LGBT people from various kinds of discrimination.

The poll is not all good news, however. While support among Democrats and independents has remained relatively constant, Republican support for these measures has fallen five percentage points over the past few years, down from 61% in 2015.

Majorities of liberals (81%), moderates (76%), and conservatives (55%) all favor nondiscrimination protections for LGBT people. Ideological differences are more pronounced among Democrats and independents than among Republicans.

The biggest intra-party divide is among Democrats. Self-identified 'liberal' Democrats (87%) are likelier than moderate (76%) and conservative (61%) Democrats to favor nondiscrimination laws protecting LGBT people.

Liberal (79%) and moderate (78%) independents are also likelier than conservative independents (58%) to support nondiscrimination protections.

Oddly, self-identified moderate Republicans (69%) are likelier than self-identified liberal Republicans (59%) or conservative Republicans (53%) to favor laws protecting LGBT people from discrimination.

Conservative Democrats (61%) are about as likely as liberal Republicans (59%) to favor nondiscrimination protections for LGBT people.

Support by religious affiliation
Majorities of all religious groups favor state laws that protect LGBT people from discrimination in jobs, housing, and public accommodations.

Solid majorities of all major religious groups in the US support laws protecting LGBT people from discrimination in housing, public accommodations, and the workplace.

More than three-quarters of Americans who identify with New Age religions (86%), Jews (80%), Hindus (79%), religiously unaffiliated Americans (78%), and Buddhists (75%) support these protections.

Even among religions that are not doctrinally tolerant of the LGBT community, support for nondiscrimination laws is strong.

Majorities of Mormons (70%), Hispanic Catholics (72%), white mainline Protestants (71%), white Catholics (71%), other non-white Catholics (68%), and Americans who identify with other religions (67%) favor LGBT nondiscrimination protections.

So do majorities of black Protestants (65%), other non-white Protestants (61%), Muslims (60%), Hispanic Protestants (60%), and Orthodox Christians (59%).

White evangelical Protestants (54%) and Jehovah's Witnesses (53%) are least likely to support LGBT nondiscrimination protections, but even among these groups a majority supports measures protecting LGBT Americans.

Support by region and state
Majorities of residents in all regions of the US and in all 50 states support nondiscrimination protections for LGBT Americans.

New Englanders express the most robust support for laws designed to protect LGBT people from discrimination. At least three-quarters of the residents of New Hampshire (81%), Vermont (77%), Connecticut (76%), Massachusetts (75%), and Rhode Island (73%) favor nondiscrimination protections for LGBT Americans.

States in the West also demonstrate high levels of support for nondiscrimination protections for LGBT individuals. More than seven in ten residents of several Western states - including Washington (75%), California (73%), New Mexico (73%), Colorado (72%), and Oregon (72%) - favor laws that would protect LGBT Americans from discrimination.

States with the lowest levels of support are primarily located in the South, where about six in ten residents of West Virginia (63%), Oklahoma (62%), Mississippi (59%), Kentucky (59%), Alabama (59%), South Carolina (58%), and Arkansas (56%) say LGBT people should be legally protected from discrimination.

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