POLL: Majority Supports Federal LGBT Employment Nondiscrimination Protections


A new poll finds that a strong majority — 68 percent — supports federal legislation to protect LGBT people from employment discrimination, i.e., the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), including 56 percent of Republicans. Only 21 percent said that they oppose such protections. A modeling analysis of the data suggests there is majority support across all 50 states:

The poll also found that most people across all political spectra agree with the general sentiments of employment fairness for LGBT people:

  • 88 percent (86 percent of Republicans): “Everyone has a right to earn a living — including gay, lesbian, and transgender Americans — and workers should be judged on the job they do — nothing more, nothing less.”
  • 88 percent (84 percent of Republicans): “Companies should hire and fire based solely on a person’s qualifications not quotas — gay and transgender employees should have an equal opportunity to everyone else.”

Though transgender people have found some federal employment protection through the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, there are still 29 states that allow discrimination based on sexual orientation and 33 states with no enumerated protections based on gender identity. Though some victims of such discrimination cannot tell their stories because of legal confidentiality, plenty have spoken out about their mistreatment. The Senate is expected to consider ENDA before the end of the year.

The poll also asked about marriage equality, and similar to polling that’s been conducted over the past few years, found that 53 percent of respondents support same-sex couples’ right to marry.