Despite the recent wave of anti-LGBTQ laws being presented and passed in the US, a recent survey shows that up to 84% of Americans disagree with religious-based discrimination against the LGBTQ+ community.
A nonpartisan research firm NORC at the University of Chicago in partnership with the Williams Institute, a think tank dedicated to gender identity and sexual orientation research at the University of California Los Angeles School of Law, conducted a national poll in September 2022 of 1,003 adult Americans. The purpose was to find out which groups supported religious-based discrimination and which did not.
More than 8 in 10 respondents (84%) opposed allowing medical professionals to cite religious beliefs as a reason to deny care to LGBTQ people, while 74% said they were against letting employers deny jobs to LGBTQ individuals and 71% said they objected to business owners citing religious beliefs as a reason for denying LGBTQ people service.
Democrats were far more likely than Republicans to oppose religious-based discrimination against LGBTQ individuals, and women were likelier than men to oppose it.
Of those who regularly attended religious services, 53% of them opposed religious-based discrimination against LGBTQ people on the part of business owners, while 59% opposed such bias from employers and 71% from medical providers. Conversely, those who never attend religious services objected to allowing religious-based discrimination by medical professionals (89%), employers (82%), and business owners (80%).
Chris Erchull, attorney for GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders (GLAD), pointed out that these findings indicate that most Americans believe in equality for all, no matter what message the legislation is trying to send.
“This poll shows that the current campaign of anti-LGBTQ+ legislation and efforts to weaken existing nondiscrimination protections is out of step with what the majority of Americans want,” Erchull said. “Targeting one community with harmful legislation is not a winning political strategy long-term and runs contrary to core principles in our democracy.”