News (USA)

Most Americans oppose restricting the rights of LGBTQ people

Most Americans oppose restricting the rights of LGBTQ people
Protesters at the White House demonstrating against the ban on transgender soldiers. Photo: Ted Eytan via Flickr

Most Americans oppose restricting the rights of LGBTQ people, a new report from Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI) has found.

It has been a difficult year for LGBTQ rights, with the Trump administration attacking the rights of transgender students and soldiers, going after the Johnson Amendment so churches will be allowed to have a heavier hand in campaigns, and a Cabinet full of anti-LGBTQ lawmakers.

Key findings include:

  • 53 percent of Americans oppose allowing businesses that provide wedding services to refuse services to same-sex couples, compared to 41 percent in favor of a religious exemption in these industries. White Americans and Republicans are more likely to be in favor of allowing wedding-based services to discriminate, compared to people of color and Democrats or Independents.
  • 56 percent of Americans oppose allowing businesses not in the wedding industries to discriminate against gay and lesbian people if doing so violates their religious beliefs, with 39 percent in favor.
  • 72 percent of Americans favor laws that would protect LGBTQ people from discrimination in jobs, public accommodation, and housing. 24 percent oppose such laws.
  • 64 percent of the public favor allowing transgender people to serve, while 30 percent oppose. Democrats are more than twice as likely to be in favor of allowing trans people to serve.
  • 50 percent of the public opposes laws that would require transgender people to use bathrooms that match their birth sex rather than their current gender identity. 38 percent are in favor of such policies, and 12 percent report having no opinion on this issue.
  • 66 percent of the country is in favor of marriage equality, with only 28 percent opposing it, showing support continues to climb two years after it became the law of the land.
  • 68 percent of the public oppose allowing agencies that receive federal funding to refuse placing children with gay or lesbian people, with 28 percent of Americans who favor such a policy. Those numbers change with adoption agencies that don’t receive federal funding, with 44 percent saying such agencies should be permitted to exclude gay and lesbian couples, while 51 percent say they should not.

More details can be found on the PRRI report on the study.

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