Harris Poll: 2 in 3 Americans Today Favor Federal Nondiscrimination Protections for LGBT People

A national survey was released today as part of the 2016 Out & Equal Workplace Survey released today for National Coming Out Day.

It was conducted between September 19 and October 3, surveying 2223 American adults, of which 143 self-identified as LGBT.

The new survey informed respondents that federal law prohibits discrimination in employment, public accommodations (e.g., at a retail store, library, courthouse, or restaurant), housing and credit, on the basis of race, national origin, sex, religion or disability, but there is no federal law today that protects someone who is gay or transgender from discrimination in employment, public accommodations, housing or credit. When asked if they would favor or oppose such a law, 2 out of 3 (67%) Americans agreed, with 36% saying they "strongly support" a federal law, while, by contrast, only 15% saying they "strongly oppose" such a law. By contrast, just last year, when asked a similar question, 62% of Americans supported federal nondiscrimination legislation. In 2016, 72% of younger Americans between the ages of 18 and 34, support such a federal law (with 38% expressing strong agreement).

The survey also asked Americans whether they were more or less likely to purchase goods and services from, or to work for, companies that are opposed to North Carolina's HB2 – or whether it has no effect on their preferences. The poll revealed that 72% of Americans were more likely (26%) or as likely (46%) to purchase goods and services from these companies. When asked about the likelihood to work for these companies that oppose HB2, 71% said they were more likely (25%) or as likely (46%) to work for one of these companies.

Despite America's polarization during this charged election year, we should be encouraged that fundamental fairness matters deeply to most Americans and to our corporate leaders. . Out & Equal takes heart knowing so many corporations will fiercely stand up for equality in America and around the world.

--Selisse Berry, Founder, CEO, Out & Equal Workplace Advocates

The survey also probed attitudes about workplace policies related to transgender employees, with nearly 9 out of 10 (88%) of all Americans in accord that employees should be judged for how well they perform their jobs, and not whether they are transgender. More than 2 in 5 of all Americans (44%) also agree that employers should make health insurance coverage available to transgender people who wish to seek gender affirmation surgery.

  • 75% of all Americans agree that regardless of the legal name and gender of an employee,
  • employers should use an employee's pronouns and desired name when communicating with them and when referring to them to third parties.

  • 73% of all Americans agree that employers should learn everyone's pronouns and preferred name and use them in the workplace.
  • 63% of all Americans agree that employers should intervene when an employee regularly misuses a co-worker's pronouns or preferred name.
  • 59% of all Americans agree that regularly misusing a colleague's pronouns or preferred name is a form of workplace harassment.
  • These trends, as we have seen year over year, give us more confidence that the workplace and marketplace are aligned with America's supportive attitudes towards LGBT people.

    --Bob Witeck, Witeck Communications

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    elenacarlena's picture

    remaining third. Proof that the bullies and bigots are in the minority, even if they are awfully loud sometimes.

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    Please check out Pet Vet Help, consider joining us to help pets, and follow me @ElenaCarlena on Twitter! Thank you.

    Americans almost always poll overwhelmingly liberal, especially if the PTB have not yet drilled into the public one position or another.

    I am glad that holds true with this issue.

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