Despite the current socio-political climate, a recent study has discovered that most Americans support LGBTQ rights, and we think that’s pretty damn rad!
Despite the recent set backs concerning transgender protection guidelines and the ongoing legal contentions in Texas regarding same-sex marriage rights, a new poll conducted by the Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI) has found that, actually, most Americans support equal rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer individuals.
The polls found that six in ten Americans (63%) supported marriage equality, an increase from figures taken in 2015. Interestingly, the study found that while a slim majority of Republicans still opposed same-sex marriage (51%), it was mainly those over the age of 50 that felt this way, with 57% of those under 50 supporting equal marriage.
This is also coupled with the fact that two-thirds of the population “oppose allowing small business owners in their state to refuse to provide products or services to gay or lesbian people if doing so violates their religious beliefs.”
In terms of anti-discrimination laws, an overwhelming 70% of Americans felt that LGBTQ people should be protected against discrimination in jobs, public accommodation, and housing. The study found that these views cut across party lines, with six in ten Republicans (60%) favoring laws protecting LGBTQ people.
In terms of transgender bathroom laws, 53% of all Americans oppose laws that prescribe that individuals should be forced to use the restrooms of their prescribed sex at birth.
While 39% did favour such laws, PRRI noted that 8% of the population “report no opinion on this issue.” However, there was an intense bi-partisan divide on the issue.
“A majority of independents (57%) and nearly two-thirds (65%) of Democrats oppose requiring transgender people to use bathrooms of their birth sex as opposed to their current gender identity,” the report reads. “In contrast, most Republicans (59%) favor requiring transgender people to use bathrooms that correspond to their sex at birth, while fewer than four in ten independents (39%) and Democrats (30%) agree.”
It was also noted that most Americans acknowledged that lesbian, gay, and bisexual individuals experienced discrimination (61%), while 64% acknowledged that transgender individuals are also at risk of discrimination.
Meanwhile, it was stated that the majority of Americans now “report having close friends or family members who are gay, lesbian, or transgender,” with 80% of young adults (18-29) having a close friend of family member who is LGB.
Similarly, while a smaller number, there was an increase in the amount of the population who have close social interactions with a member of the transgender community to 21%. Along with this came the news that knowledge of transgender issues had increased, with 84% of all Americans now saying that they understand what the term transgender means (although, as with most of the report, this varied with age).
Read PRRI’s full report here.
Given a recent report that claimed that since the advent of same-sex marriage in 2015, the rate of suicide attempts of LGB teens had decreased, it’s clear that public opinion and political and social legislation matters. That’s why we think it’s great to see that there’s a positive change in attitudes to minority groups in America.
However, as we’ve seen in recent weeks, the fight is not over!