Good news for LGBTQ rights! According to a new survey, a strong majority of Americans believe that businesses should not be permitted to deny goods or services to people based on sexual orientation (81 percent) or gender identity (80 percent). 75 percent of Americans also believe that businesses who serve the public should be open to everyone on the same terms. In addition, 68 percent of Americans say they support businesses that publicly stand for LGBTQ equality.
In the survey conducted by The Harris Poll, in conjunction with Out & Equal Workplace Advocates, American consumers overwhelmingly say they would likely spend money at businesses that do not discriminate against LGBTQ people. The survey sample included over 2,000 adults in the U.S. Approximately 70 percent of those respondents also say that federal legislation is needed to protect LGBTQ people from discrimination in employment, public accommodations, housing, and consumer credit.
The findings of the survey were released at the Out & Equal Workplace Summit, which took place October 1-4 in Seattle, Washington.
It is certainly encouraging to see that most Americans are willing to transact business with LGBTQ allies and believe the government should do more to safeguard equality in the private sector.
The polling reflects a sharp contrast between prevailing public attitudes toward LGBTQ equality and those of our conservative Republican-dominated government, which is working hard to take our equality away.
For instance, back in June, the Supreme Court decided in favor of a Colorado bakery owner who refused, on religious grounds, to bake a cake for a gay male couple for their wedding reception. If Brett Kavanaugh is confirmed tomorrow as a Supreme Court justice, we can expect similar decisions in the future—decisions that do not match the views of most Americans. At this year’s Tony Awards, actor Andrew Garfield slammed the Supreme Court in his acceptance speech by saying: “Let’s just bake a cake for everyone who wants a cake to be baked.”
John Gerzema, co-CEO of The Harris Poll, told USA Today that there is a “growing desire among Americans for the private sector to step in and champion LGBTQ equality.”
The results from the survey indicate a positive shift in overall public opinion—not only about equal access to goods and services, but also equal protection under the law. That’s good news for LGBTQ Americans. And that’s good news for business.