Post submitted by Ianthe Metzger, Former Press Secretary, State & Local
As the incoming pro-equality U.S. House sets its sights on the Equality Act -- crucial federal legislation that would provide consistent and explicit non-discrimination protections based on sexual orientation or gender identity -- recent polling from HRC, the Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI) and Equality Virginia finds that a growing majority of Americans support federal non-discrimination protections and LGBTQ equality.
“Equality is a winning issue. In poll after poll, we see that more and more Americans are calling for their family, friends and neighbors to be treated with respect and dignity, and increasingly rejecting lawmakers who attack the LGBTQ community,” said HRC President Chad Griffin. “No one should ever be discriminated against because of who they are or who they love. With a majority of the American people already supporting these common-sense protections, it’s time for Congress to catch up and finally pass the Equality Act.
A recent study from PRRI found that seven in 10 Americans (71 percent) support laws like the Equality Act, which protect the LGBTQ community against discrimination in employment, public accommodations and housing. More than 130 major employers, with operations in all 50 states, have also joined HRC’s Business Coalition for the Equality Act, urging Congress to pass these crucial protections.
Support for this kind of non-discrimination legislation also crosses all party affiliations. In Virginia, where the state legislature is considering legal protections in housing and public employment for LGBTQ Virginians, new polling from Equality Virginia and Mason-Dixon Research found that 55 percent and 59 percent of Republican primary voters respectively believe it should be against the law to discriminate in housing and public employment against someone who is LGBTQ.
In addition to finding overwhelming support for LGBTQ-inclusive non-discrimination protections, post-election polling from HRC found that 60 percent of voters in the 2018 midterms opposed the Trump-Pence Administration’s reported plans to define gender entirely by birth gender, thereby potentially excluding transgender people from civil rights protections. Overall, voters also identified protecting the rights of groups targeted by the Trump-Pence administration as their top reason for voting to flip the U.S. House.
During the 2018 election cycle, HRC endorsed more than 480 pro-equality candidates nationwide and deployed 150 staff to organize and mobilize voters in more than 70 congressional, targeted senate and other key statewide races across 23 states as part of HRC Rising, the largest and earliest grassroots deployment in the organization’s 39-year history.