Large majorities support LGBT nondiscrimination, oppose religious exceptions

Significant majorities of Americans support LGBT nondiscrimination legislation and oppose allowing businesses to deny service to LGBT people because of religious objections, according to a new survey from the nonpartisan Public Religion Research Institute.

When asked, “Do you favor or oppose laws that would protect gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people against discrimination in jobs, public accommodations, and housing?” fully 71% of respondents voiced their support for such laws. Only 24% were opposed.  Significantly, when the results were broken down majorities of every religious and political group support protections.  Majorities also favored nondiscrimination legislation in all 50 states.

A smaller majority of Americans are also supportive of the LGBT community when it comes to issues of so-called “religious freedom.”  Asked, “Do you favor or oppose allowing a small business owner in your state to refuse to provide products or services to gay or lesbian people, if doing so violates their religious beliefs?” only 35% of participants say they suport such religious-based discrimination.  59% voice their opposition.

See the Public Religion Research Institute’s entire study