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Poll finds Americans think federal law protects LGBTQ people

NEW YORK — A Reuters/Ipsos opinion poll this week found that almost half of all Americans think federal law protects LGBTQ people from discrimination. There is no such federal law.

The Equality Act, which would amend the Civil Rights Act and provide federal protection, was passed by the House only last month. It likely won’t get passed by the GOP-controlled Senate much less signed into law.

Reuters said that the poll was conducted with the Williams Institute at the University of California at Los Angeles and released as cities mark 50 years since the Stonewall Riots.

The poll found that 45% of people responding thought there were already federal LGBTQ protections. This, Reuters said, includes 40% of those 18-34 and 57% of registered Republicans. Only 23% of respondents said there were no protections at the federal level.

The poll also found that only a third of respondents new that there were no protections for transgender people under federal law. Most said they didn’t know or thought that there already were federal protections.

On the upside, a majority of Americans don’t think “religious objection” should be sued to deny service in business (57%), healthcare (64%), or employment (62%).

The poll stated that only 20% think that LGBTQ service members are treated “about the same” in the military, but 43% do think LGBTQ people in general are treated the same. One in three didn’t know one way or another.

The poll was conducted online on May 29-30 and June 5-6 in English throughout the United States, Reuters said. It gathered responses from 2,237 adults and has a credibility interval, a measure of precision, of 2 percentage points.

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