69 Percent of American Voters Want to Make LGBT Discrimination Illegal

New poll shows over two-thirds of sampled voters want to institute federal law banning discrimination due to sexual orientation and gender identity

A lesbian couple hold hands during a Gay Pride rally, on June 8th, 2007. Credit: David Silverman/Getty

More than two-thirds of U.S. voters are in favor of a federal law prohibiting discrimination against an individual based on sexual orientation or gender identity, according to a new national poll, Buzzfeed reports

The survey, conducted by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research and commissioned by LGBT advocacy organization Human Rights Campaign in late January, asked 1,000 likely voters for the 2016 general election to share their opinions on a proposed federal bill that would prohibit LGBT discrimination in "employment, housing, credit, education, jury selection and access to public places." Sixty-nine percent said they were in favor, with 27 percent opposed and 4 percent were undecided. 

Democrats showed the most support, with 80 percent in favor, and independent voters followed closely behind at 72 percent. But perhaps the most surprising number is the 51 percent of Republican respondents who favored the proposal of a nondiscrimination law. 

Voters were also asked if they would be less likely to back their Congressperson if they voted against such a bill. Eighty percent of Democrats voted they would be less likely, followed by 65 percent of independents and 43 percent of Republicans. 

Another revealing statistic breaks down voters into states according to marriage laws. In the 36 states allowing same-sex marriage, the nondiscrimination law is favored by 68 percent of voters – and even in the remaining, Republican-heavy states, the law is supported by 60 percent of respondents.

However, Greg Scott, a spokesman for conservative advocacy group Alliance Defending Freedom, told Buzzfeed that the poll only asks "a half-question" and would "increase the government's coercive power in areas like free speech and exercise of faith.

"If Americans knew their affirmation of the question in this poll would have such disastrous results, the numbers would look much different," he said. 

Buzzfeed also cites an Associated Press-GfK poll from January that confirms Americans' divided opinions on LGBT rights. A 57 percent majority from that survey supported exemptions allowing business to deny service to same-sex couples.