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Poll: Majority favor LGBT protections; support slips

By Danielle Haynes
Poll: Majority favor LGBT protections; support slips
Fifty-seven percent of Americans oppose allowing small businesses to refuse services to LGBT people based on religious objections. File Photo by Erin Schaff/UPI | License Photo

March 26 (UPI) -- Though a majority of Americans are in favor of broad protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities, that support has declined in recent years, a Public Religion Research Institute poll released Tuesday indicates.

The non-profit research organization found that 69 percent of Americans support laws to protect gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people against discrimination in jobs, public accommodations and housing in 2018. That percentage is down from 71 percent in 2015.

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The decline was reflected in a 5 percent drop of support among Republicans (from 61 percent to 56 percent) and a 3 percent drop among Independents (from 73 percent to 70 percent). Democrats increased support from 78 percent to 79 percent.

Still, a majority among a variety of demographic groups support protections, including in all 50 states, all age groups and all major religious groups.

"The broad support for laws to protect LGBT people from discrimination represents a rarity in our polarized politics today -- an issue that actually brings Americans together across partisan, religious, and geographic lines," PRRI CEO Robert Jones said.

Among all Americans, 62 percent support same-sex marriage and 57 percent oppose allowing small businesses to refuse services to LGBT people based on religious objections. The only groups to oppose same-sex marriage are white evangelical Protestants and Republicans.

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The PRRI surveyed 40,292 people for the poll between March 14, 2018, and December 16. There is a 0.5 percent margin of error at the 95 percent level of confidence.

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