New Poll Shows Indiana Gov. Pence’s Re-Election on the Ropes Because of Anti-LGBT Legislation

by Stephen Peters

WASHINGTON – Today, a new poll revealed Indiana Governor Mike Pence’s deeply damaged political reputation continues to decline over two months after signing into law an anti-LGBT “religious refusal” bill – a law that put LGBT Hoosiers at risk of discrimination, causing an overwhelming outcry from fair-minded people and businesses demanding the bill be fixed. As the Indianapolis Star reported, the new poll is “bad news for Gov. Mike Pence on the eve of his formal re-election announcement: A majority of voters want a new governor.” In light of the new poll, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization, warned other state legislatures and governors considering similar anti-LGBT legislation not to make the same mistake.

“One thing is clear from Indiana: Legislation attacking LGBT people and their families isn't just the wrong thing to do—it's terrible political strategy,” said HRC National Field Director Marty Rouse. “Two months after an initial poll showed the incredible business and political fallout, the damage caused to the state and to Governor Pence’s political career couldn’t be any clearer. Other state legislatures and governors considering pandering to a tiny minority and passing similar anti-LGBT legislation should pay attention lest they make the same mistake.”

According to the Journal Gazette, “Just under one-third of those polled would re-elect Gov. Mike Pence -- 32 percent -- while 54 percent favor a new person and the rest are unsure.” Notably, the poll also found that “a majority support amending Indiana’s civil rights law to add sexual orientation and gender identity protections, while 32 percent oppose and 14 percent are undecided.”

A previous poll commissioned by HRC shortly after the Indiana fiasco revealed that 75 percent of Hoosiers believe the legislation damaged the state’s economy—and that Governor Mike Pence’s approval rating had dropped by nearly 20 points since February. HRC also highlighted a case study based on this previous poll showing the tremendous damage Gov. Mike Pence’s push for the religious refusal bill caused Indiana’s business climate.

The Human Rights Campaign is America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality. HRC envisions a world where LGBT people are embraced as full members of society at home, at work and in every community.


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