NEW POLL: 7 In 10 Voters Support the Equality Act

by Wyatt Ronan

Today, the Human Rights Campaign released new polling conducted by HRC and Hart Research Associates, which showed that an overwhelming seven in 10 voters support the Equality Act, spanning across demographic and partisan groups, including across all ages, races, religions, and political parties. Click here for the full polling memo.

In poll after poll, we see that Americans overwhelmingly believe that LGBTQ people should be able to live free from fear of harassment and discrimination by guaranteeing the same federal anti-discrimination protections that other Americans have enjoyed for decades.The Equality Act is supported by a bipartisan majority of voters, the business community, faith and civil rights leaders, and communities in virtually every corner of the nation. It’s time for the Senate to catch up to the American public and finally pass the Equality Act so that all Americans can be treated equally in the eyes of the law.

Alphonso David, Human Rights Campaign President

There is broad support for amending federal civil rights law to outlaw discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity under the Equality Act (70%).


The key individual components of the Equality Act are also extremely popular:

  • Protection for Women, People of Color & People of all Faiths: The majority of voters (84%) support expanding protections for women, racial minorities and religious minorities where protections do not currently exist.
  • Protections for LGBTQ People: Voters also support prohibiting discrimination against children and parents of LGBTQ people (82%) and people who are incorrectly perceived to be LGBTQ (79%), as well as preventing businesses from refusing service to LGBTQ people due to religious objections (70%).
  • Protections for Transgender People: Americans are overwhelmingly supportive of the rights of and protections for transgender people, specifically. The majority of voters (73%) also agree that sports are important to young people’s lives and that young transgender people should be allowed opportunities to participate in a way that is safe and comfortable for them.

Despite significant steps forward, the patchwork nature of our nation’s civil rights laws means that the majority of states — 29 states in total — do not have laws explicitly protecting LGBTQ people from discrimination. The Equality Act would ban discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity under federal civil rights law. If passed, the landmark legislation would also extend protections to millions of women — women who aren’t covered by some existing federal anti-discrimination laws — and modernize public accommodations law to provide increased protections to people of color and people of faith.

Additional key findings include:

  • Political Upside: There is a clear political upside for members of Congress who support the Equality Act: overall, 53% of voters say they would feel more favorable toward their member of Congress if they were to vote in favor of the legislation. As expected, a majority of younger voters who are 18-34 (63%) and 35-49 (56%) would feel more favorable, but this is also true of pluralities of older voters: 50-64 (50% more favorable, 19% less) and 65 and older (44% more, 25% less). Moreover, independents are much more apt to feel more (49%) rather than less (6%) favorable.
  • Republicans & White Evangelical Christians: 50% of Republicans and white evangelical Christians support the Equality Act.
  • Perception vs. Reality: Polling also showed that the majority of voters do not realize that LGBTQ people are not currently protected from discrimination under federal law: 57% of voters believe that LGBTQ people are already totally (20%) or somewhat (37%) protected from discrimination.
  • Transgender Youth Participation in Sports: With respect to transgender youth participation in sports, the public’s strong inclination is on the side of fairness and equality for transgender student athletes. Seventy-three percent of voters agree that “sports are important in young people’s lives. Young transgender people should be allowed opportunities to participate in a way that is safe and comfortable for them.”

The Equality Act is supported by hundreds of members of Congress and more than 600 organizations, including civil rights, education, health care and faith-based organizations. The legislation also has unprecedented support among business and corporate leaders, which includes more than 60 business associations—including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and the National Association of Manufacturers—and has been endorsed by nearly 400 major companies, including dozens of Fortune 500 companies such as The Coca-Cola Co., Dow Chemical Co., Gap Inc., IBM, Johnson & Johnson, Kellogg Co., Marriott International Inc., Microsoft Corp., Target Corp., among others. Collectively, these companies employ more than 12.3 million people across the United States and oversee operations in all 50 states, generating a collective revenue of $5.7 trillion.

For a full breakdown of the polling conducted by the Human Rights Campaign and Hart Research, click here.

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