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July 11, 2013

Category: State Advocacy, Virginia

Bipartisan Poll Shows Promising Future for LGBT Equality in Virginia

Poll results come as Human Rights Campaign announces key endorsements in commonwealth’s gubernatorial, lieutenant governor, and attorney general races

WASHINGTON – Human Rights Campaign President Chad Griffin released the results of a new, bipartisan poll in Richmond today showing that Virginians are generally supportive of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) equality. The poll found a strong majority of Virginians – 55 percent – support marriage equality. That number jumps to 71 percent for Virginians under the age of 30, indicative of the direction Virginia is moving. A third of Republicans in the commonwealth also support marriage for loving, committed same-sex couples.

Support for employment protections in Virginia is high as well. Seventy-four percent of adults in the commonwealth – including 65 percent of Republicans – support legislation that would prevent workers for being fired due to their sexual orientation or gender identity. 

“The future of equality is bright in Virginia,” said HRC President Chad Griffin. “Like so many other places, we see two trends in the commonwealth. Young people in overwhelming numbers recognize the importance of allowing everyone to marry the person they love.  And, as we’ve seen nationally, a decisive majority of people think it’s just common sense to ensure that no one should ever lose their job simply because of who they are or who they love.”

The poll was conducted by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research and Target Point Consulting from June 26-30, 2013. 

Additional findings from the poll include:

  • Support for marriage equality is high throughout most of Virginia. It stands at:
    • 68 percent in Northern Virginia
    • 53 percent in Central Virginia
    • 51 percent in Eastern Virginia
  • 58 percent of African Americans in Virginia support marriage equality.
  • 81 percent of Virginians mistakenly believe it’s already illegal to fire someone simply for being LGBT.
  • Support for employment protections at the state level are high across demographics:
    • 70 percent of independents
    • 62 percent of Republicans
    • 71 percent of African Americans

The poll is available online at www.hrc.org/VApoll.

While in Richmond, Griffin also announced HRC’s endorsements in the race for Virginia’s top statewide offices: Terry McAuliffe for governor, Ralph Northam for lieutenant governor, and Mark Herring for attorney general.

“Virginians have a choice to make in November. One option – Ken Cuccinelli and Bishop E.W. Jackson – represents harmful beliefs that are not indicative of the mainstream values of either party, Republican or Democrat,” added Griffin. “But Virginians can reject that radical fringe, and instead elect candidates who support fairness, freedom, and dignity for all.”

The Human Rights Campaign is America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender equality. By inspiring and engaging all Americans, HRC strives to end discrimination against LGBT citizens and realize a nation that achieves fundamental fairness and equality for all.

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