Respect Equality

As debate over Equality Act rages, new poll shows 75 percent of Americans support LGBTQ+ protections

Story at a glance

  • The Equality Act is an amendment to the Civil Rights Act, which protects Americans against discrimination.
  • The proposed legislation would add sex, gender identity and sexual orientation to the protected classes in the act.
  • A new poll shows that a majority of the country supports LGBTQ+ nondiscrimination protections.

More than three-fourths of the country favors legislation to protect LGBTQ+ Americans from discrimination in jobs, housing and public accommodation, according to a new survey by the Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI) that shows higher support than ever before, especially among Americans of color and white mainline Protestants.

“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,” said Natalie Jackson, director of research at PRRI, in a statement. “Despite the Equality Act garnering only three Republican votes in the House, as senators consider their votes, they should pay attention to the fact that Americans—including Republicans—are very much on board with the principles of the legislation.”  


READ MORE LGBTQ+ STORIES FROM CHANGING AMERICA

NEW POLL FINDS RECORD NUMBER OF AMERICANS IDENTIFY AS LGBT

LGBTQ+ ADVOCATES EAGERLY AWAIT BIDEN’S EXECUTIVE ORDER

RACHEL LEVINE COULD BE THE FIRST TRANSGENDER OFFICIAL CONFIRMED BY CONGRESS. WHO IS SHE?

HOUSE INTRODUCES GENDER-NEUTRAL LANGUAGE IN NEW RULES FOR CONGRESS


After the Equality Act passed the House by a narrow margin last month, LGBTQ+ advocates and detractors of the bill testified last week during a hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee, which is yet to vote on the legislation. The bill is backed by President Biden, who has urged Congress to pass the legislation “swiftly,” and support has largely been partisan; just three Republican representatives joined their Democrat colleagues in voting for the bill. 

Across the country, Democrats and independents are more likely to favor the legislation, according to the PRRI survey, but almost two-thirds of Republicans also support LGBTQ+ discrimination protections. And for the first time in PRRI’s American Values Atlas, more than half of Republicans support allowing gay and lesbian couples to legally marry. 


America is changing faster than ever! Add Changing America to your Facebook or Twitter feed to stay on top of the news.


Same-sex marriage aside, however, the survey of 10,000 Americans showed “strong support for LGBTQ protections against discrimination in jobs, public accommodations, and housing across every subgroup of Americans, including race, age, religion, partisanship, and geography.”

If enacted, the Equality Act would explicitly prohibit discrimination on the basis of sex, gender identity and sexual orientation in public accommodations, federal funding, employment, housing, equal credit opportunity and juries, as well as ensure the desegregation of public facilities and education — codifying the Supreme Court’s ruling extending the protections of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to the LGBTQ+ community.  


READ MORE LGBTQ+ STORIES FROM CHANGING AMERICA

HOW THE CORONAVIRUS PRESENTS A UNIQUE THREAT TO THE LGBT+ COMMUNITY

IDAHO’S CONTROVERSIAL NEW TRANS RIGHTS BILLS FACE LEGAL CHALLENGES

ANTI-GAY GOP LAWMAKER VOTED AGAINST CORONAVIRUS BILL BECAUSE IT ‘REDEFINED FAMILY’

SOUTH CAROLINA COURT STRIKES DOWN LAW BANNING LGTBQ+ SEX ED

SPORTS SAVED MY LIFE. TRANSGENDER ATHLETES SHOULD BE ABLE TO HAVE THAT EXPERIENCE TOO