July 12, 2013
New Poll Shows Optimism for LGBT Equality in Mississippi
Young Mississippians under 30 support marriage equality; support for workplace discrimination protections high across demographics
Washington – Human Rights Campaign President Chad Griffin released the results of a bipartisan poll in Jackson today looking at Mississippians’ positions on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) issues. The poll shows 58 percent of Mississippians under 30 support marriage equality. Support also is strong for workplace non-discrimination protections that would protect LGBT employees, with 64 percent of Mississippi adults saying they support such legislation. Currently, there are no laws that protect LGBT Mississippians from discrimination in the workplace.
“The future for equality in Mississippi is bright,” said HRC President Chad Griffin. “Our poll no doubt identifies areas where there are still hearts and minds to change, but the results confirm what we see nationwide, including here in the South: young Americans support everyone being able to marry the person they love. Fair-minded Mississippians from all walks of life also recognize that it’s wrong to fire someone simply because of who they are or who they love.”
The poll was conducted by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research, a Democratic firm, and Target Point Consulting, a Republican firm, from June 26 – July 9, 2013.
The poll, available online at www.hrc.org/MSpoll, shows that strong majorities across age and demographics back workplace protections for LGBT people – including 56 percent of Republicans in the state. But 80 percent of residents, like those in other states, mistakenly believe it is already illegal under federal law to fire someone solely because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.
“For too many LGBT Americans – many living right here in Mississippi – our historic victories at the U.S Supreme Court last month were nothing more than a headline,” added Griffin. “We will not rest until every LGBT American living everywhere in this country enjoys full equality under the law.”
According to the Williams Institute, Mississippi is home to more families headed by same-sex couples with children than any other state in the nation.
The poll also found that 70 percent of Mississippians support legislation that would protect LGBT youth from bullying and harassment in schools. And while there remains work to be done on marriage equality – overall support in the state stands at just 36 percent – it’s clear that Mississippians know that treating LGBT people with dignity and respect is the right thing to do. Ninety-one percent of Mississippians say the Golden Rule – treating others as they themselves wish to be treated – should be extended to LGBT people.
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.