Today, HRC released the following statement after new polling shows that a majority of Americans in all 50 states support a bill like the bipartisan Equality Act, which was introduced last year with an unprecedented number of original co-sponsors and would extend existing civil rights protections to LGBT people.
The polling released by the nonpartisan Public Religion Research Institute involved more than 42,000 interviews in all 50 states. Nationally, support for a bill like the Equality Act topped 70 percent, which includes a majority of Democrats, Republicans and Independents.
“It’s long past time for Congress to end a status quo where LGBT people remain at risk in a majority of states of being denied services or fired because of who they are or who they love,” said HRC Government Affairs Director David Stacy. “A majority of Americans agree, whether they are living in red states or blue. Americans across the country get it, and understand that everyone should be able to live free from fear of discrimination and be able to have a fair chance to earn a living and provide for their families, including people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender,”
Currently, 33 states lack clear, fully inclusive LGBT non-discrimination protections, leaving people at risk for being fired, denied a job or apartment, or refused service because of who they are or whom they love. In addition to showing strong, across the board support for a bill like the Equality Act. a majority in all 50 states support non-discrimination protections for LGBT people -- 70 percent in Florida, 70 percent in Indiana, 70 percent in Pennsylvania and 69 percent in Ohio -- all states that lack these protections.
Leading American corporations such as Amazon, AirBNB, American Airlines, Apple, the Dow Chemical Company, Facebook, General Electric, General Mills, Google, HP, Hyatt, IBM, Intel, Levi Strauss & Co, Microsoft, Nike, Oracle, Orbitz, PayPal, Symantec Corporation and Target in support of federal LGBT non-discrimination protections.
Discrimination is a real and persistent problem for too many LGBT Americans. Nearly two-thirds of self-identified LGBT Americans reported experiencing discrimination -- including people like Carter Brown, a transgender man who lost his job after he was outed as transgender by his colleagues. Currently, 50 percent of LGBT Americans live in states where they risk being fired, denied housing or refused service because of who they are or whom they love.
Republican Senator Mark Kirk (IL) and Representative Bob Dold (IL) recently signed on as co-sponsors of the Equality Act, which was introduced last year by Senators Jeff Merkley (OR), Tammy Baldwin (WI), and Cory Booker (NJ), and Representatives David Cicilline (RI) and John Lewis (GA).
The bipartisan Equality Act, establishes explicit, permanent protections against discrimination based on an individual’s sexual orientation or gender identity in matters of employment, housing, access to public places, federal funding, credit, education and jury service. In addition, it would prohibit discrimination on the basis of sex in federal funding and access to public places.