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Self-identified Christians' views in line with majority in favoring protections for LGBT Americans
WASHINGTON - The majority of Christian Americans oppose the discriminatory Defense of Marriage Act, favor protecting lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people from discrimination, and support anti-bullying laws according to new polling released today by the Human Rights Campaign in partnership with Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research. In perhaps the most compelling finding, more Christians than the overall population say their faith compels them to believe the law should treat LGBT people equally. Additionally, a strong majority of Christians believe that anti-LGBT religious leaders do more harm than good. Armed with this information, hundreds of clergy from across the country will lobby members of Congress during HRC's Clergy Call for Justice and Equality on May 24, 2011. View the polling results at www.hrc.org/religionpoll2011.
The poll found a majority of Christians, including Protestants, Catholics, Mormons, Orthodox and those who identify as other Christian, support LGBT equality. Forty-eight percent of the Christian respondents said they attend religious services every week.
"The old thought was that the more regularly people attended church, the less supportive they were of LGBT equality," said Dr. Sharon Groves, director of the HRC Religion and Faith Program. "Those of us working directly with faith communities have known there was another story to tell. We still have much work to do, but as this new poll testifies, people of faith are leading the charge for fairness."
Overall, 68 percent of Christians (compared to 70 percent of overall respondents) strongly favor or somewhat favor protecting LGBT people from discrimination in employment, housing, and public accommodations. Seventy-four percent of Christians (76 percent overall) favor a law prohibiting bullying and harassment against LGBT students or the children of LGBT parents. Eighty-six percent of Christians (85 percent overall) believe their faith leads them to the conclusion that the law should treat LGBT people equally. Seventy percent of Christians (74 percent overall) agree that when religious leaders condemn LGBT people it does more harm than good. A majority of Christians (52 percent) also oppose the discriminatory Defense of Marriage Act, according to a March 2011 HRC poll by GQRR.
"We're seeing a sea change in the relationship between faith and LGBT equality," said HRC President Joe Solmonese. "What's most interesting is that not only are people of faith embracing equality, but they're doing so because of their faith."
The telephone survey, including cell phones was conducted 5/13/11 through 5/16/11 among 1,030 adults. It has a margin of error of +/- 3.05 percent. View the polling results at www.hrc.org/religionpoll2011.
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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