More Momentum for LGBT Equality: Marriage Not a Top Concern for Voters

by HRC Staff

Washington– New data from the Pew Research Center shows marriage equality ranks last among the top concerns of voters ahead of the 2012 elections. Support for LGBT equality is increasing and issues pertaining to the LGBT community are no longer a “wedge” for voters, representing a remarkable turnaround in the last 8 years. The Pew poll is just the latest piece of evidence pointing to Americans’ broad support for equality. A 2011 Gallup poll found 53 percent of Americans support marriage equality; while a Greenberg Quinlan Rosner poll recently found that an astounding 85 percent of people of faith say their religious beliefs lead them to the conclusion that LGBT people should be treated equally under the law.

“Americans care about job creation and providing for their families. This latest data reinforces the fact that supporting LGBT equality is not a divisive wedge issue, but rather just common sense,” said Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese. “Fair-minded people are increasingly aware that extending rights, benefits, and protections to their LGBT neighbors strengthens the communities they live and work in. To suggest otherwise is a strategy that will fail with voters.”

As a growing number of Americans support equality for LGBT people and oppose discrimination, demonizing LGBT people is becoming increasingly perilous for any politician or organization. Last month, HRC released strategic documents outlining NOM’s plan to drive a wedge between the LGBT community and other minority communities; while NOM Founder Maggie Gallagher often claims being anti-marriage equality is a “winning issue.” But the Pew data – along with data that points to strong Latino and African American support for a wide array of equality issues – soundly repudiates NOM’s strategy and continued false assertions.

“It’s important to remember that so much of what we’re fighting for – marriage equality, workplace protections, fair treatment when our loved ones are hospitalized – contributes to a strengthening of the issues voters care about the most,” added Solmonese.

The Pew poll identified the economy, jobs, and the budget deficit as weighing most heavily on voters’ minds. Other issues of importance include healthcare, education, energy, taxes, terrorism, and the environment.                        

The Human Rights Campaign is America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve lesbian, gay, 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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