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Attitudes on LGBT Nondiscrimination Laws and Religious Exemptions from the 2015 American Values Atlas

Attitudes on LGBT Nondiscrimination Laws and Religious Exemptions from the 2015 American Values Atlas

From a PPRI* report by Betsy Cooper, Ph.D., Daniel Cox, Ph.D., Rachel Lienesch, Robert P. Jones, Ph.D.;

There is widespread support for laws that would protect gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people from discrimination in jobs, housing, and public accommodations. Nationally, roughly seven in ten (71%) Americans support such laws, while roughly one-quarter (24%) oppose them. Majorities of all major demographic, religious, and political groups favor nondiscrimination laws for LGBT people…Not surprisingly, nearly nine in ten (88%) Americans who support same-sex marriage also support nondiscrimination laws that would protect LGBT people. Notably, same-sex marriage opponents are not uniformly opposed to nondiscrimination laws. Americans who oppose same-sex marriage are divided over nondiscrimination laws for LGBT people (49% favor, 45% oppose)…Americans are broadly opposed to allowing small business owners to refuse to provide products or services to gay or lesbian people if doing so violates their religious beliefs. Overall, nearly six in ten (59%) Americans oppose allowing these religiously based service refusals, while 35% favor them.

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The report is broken into three sections: 1 Attitudes on Same-sex Marriage; 2 Widespread Support For Laws Protecting Gay, Lesbian, and Transgender People From Discrimination; and of potentially most interest to Café readers, 3 Most Americans Oppose Allowing Businesses to Refuse Service to LGBT People Based on Religious Beliefs. The authors have developed a huge number of charts that break down the gathered survey information into easily understood graphics regarding; age, race & ethnicity, religious affiliation, political affiliation and geography (state).

*PRRI’s research explores and illuminates America’s changing cultural, religious, and political landscape. PRRI’s mission is to help journalists, scholars, pundits, thought leaders, clergy, and the general public better understand debates on public policy issues, and the important cultural and religious dynamics shaping American society and politics.

Read the full report and view the many explanatory charts and graphs from the survey for the 2015 American Values Atlas on the PPRI website.
The two charts reproduced here are from the report regarding the religious affiliation data.


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Philip B. Spivey

These numbers should put to bed the lie that Black churches have a monopoly on homophobia. This myth arose (and was propagated) in California when Prop 8 was passed in 2008. Wrongly, a vocal minority in the gay community singled out the Black church as responsible for its passage.

If these numbers harbor any truth, it is clear that Prop 8 had plenty of assistance across the board.

Philip B. Spivey

Br. Allen: You can continue to scapegoat African Americans if you wish, but truth be told, the operatives who approached the Black clergy back then did nothing but alienate the Black community further. Had the issues been handled with greater sensitivity and respect for the Black culture, some attitudes could have been swayed.

But my point was not whether Black folks voted for Prop 8; my point is that we were singled out. Where are the exit poll data for the other Vote Yes religious groups?

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