Large majority of people, including GOPers, oppose anti-LGBTQ discrimination

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SAN FRANCISCO — A poll released last week shows that large majorities of Americans think it should be illegal for either employers or health care providers to discriminate against LGBTQ people.

The Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) poll also found that this includes large majorities of Republicans, independents and Democrats across a range of questions about such discrimination.

The poll gauged the public’s views following two major developments this month that move in opposite directions on LGBTQ protections. First, the Trump administration finalized regulations removing LGBTQ protections in healthcare. Then the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling that gender identity and sexual orientation are protected under the definition of sex discrimination in the workplace.

The poll found: 

  • 9 in 10 adults agree with last week’s Supreme Court ruling, say it should be illegal for employers to fire or refuse to hire people because they are lesbian, gay, or bisexual (90%) or transgender (89%).
  • About 9 in 10 say it should be illegal for doctors or other health care providers to refuse to treat people because they are lesbian, gay, or bisexual (89%) or transgender (88%).
  • 85% say it should be illegal for health insurance companies to refuse to pay for health care services for people who are transgender.

In each case, large majorities across partisan lines, including more than 7 in 10 Republicans, think such discrimination against LGBTQ people should be illegal.

Overall, nearly 7 in 10 adults say they support laws that ban discrimination based on whether a person is lesbian, gay, or bisexual or transgender. This is similar to the share who support laws that ban discrimination based on race or ethnicity and only slightly smaller than the share who support laws banning discrimination against people with a disability.  

“Most Americans – including most Republicans – oppose discrimination against people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender,” KFF President and CEO Drew Altman said. “The public is shifting more quickly on these issues than the political and legal landscapes are.” 

Other findings include: 

  • Most adults say that people who are transgender (79%) or are lesbian, gay or bisexual (74%) face at least some discrimination in the U.S. today. This is similar to the share who say the same about Black (84%) and Hispanic (77%) people. While still a majority, a smaller share of Republicans say each of these groups face at least some discrimination.
  • Half (49%) of the public says our society has “not gone far enough in accepting people who are transgender,” up 10 percentage points from a 2017 Pew Research Center Poll. In comparison, relatively few (15%) today say our society has “gone too far” in accepting people who are transgender, and a third (32%) say it “has been about right.” A similar share of Republicans say society has gone too far (30%) as say it has not gone far enough (24%).
  • More than a third of adults (36%) say they personally know someone who is transgender, including nearly half (46%) of those under age 30.

Read the poll here.

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