Poll: End Workplace Discrimination Against Gays

NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 18: Members and supporters of the Lesbian-Gay-Bisexual-Transgender (LGBT) community protest United States-based economic trading with Russian-oriented companies outside the New York Stock Exchange on November 18, 2013 in New York City. Russia passed anti-LGBT-friendly laws over the summer, including laws that effectively make any pro-LGBT statements or demonstrations illegal. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
National Journal
Alex Roarty
Dec. 10, 2013, 5:15 p.m.

A strong ma­jor­ity of Amer­ic­ans say they sup­port the Em­ploy­ment Non-Dis­crim­in­a­tion Act, le­gis­la­tion that would ban most private busi­nesses from work­place dis­crim­in­a­tion based on sexu­al ori­ent­a­tion or gender iden­tity, ac­cord­ing to the latest United Tech­no­lo­gies/Na­tion­al Journ­al Con­gres­sion­al Con­nec­tion Poll. A plur­al­ity of Re­pub­lic­ans dis­sent, the sur­vey found, but their ob­jec­tions fade if the meas­ure ap­plied only to sexu­al ori­ent­a­tion.

The num­bers un­der­score the de­gree to which pub­lic opin­ion has swung in fa­vor of ex­pand­ing gay rights, even if sup­port lags for trans­gender men and wo­men. And they demon­strate the pre­dic­a­ment fa­cing Re­pub­lic­ans, who more of­ten than not now find them­selves on the los­ing end of the cul­ture war. Like im­mig­ra­tion, some types of gun con­trol, and — in­creas­ingly — gay mar­riage, the GOP op­poses le­gis­la­tion that draws sup­port from a ma­jor­ity of the coun­try.

In Novem­ber, 10 Re­pub­lic­ans joined with Demo­crats to ap­prove ENDA in the Sen­ate. But the GOP-con­trolled House has shelved the le­gis­la­tion, and there’s little hope among its sup­port­ers that it will re­ceive a vote on the floor.

In the poll, re­spond­ents were told the Sen­ate had passed le­gis­la­tion that sup­port­ers “say is ne­ces­sary to en­sure that all work­ers are treated equally wheth­er they are het­ero­sexu­al or ho­mo­sexu­al,” while op­pon­ents “say it will lead to un­ne­ces­sary law­suits and im­pinge on re­li­gious free­dom.” They were then asked if they sup­por­ted the meas­ure and if it should in­clude trans­gender people.

Fifty-six per­cent of those sur­veyed said they would sup­port a meas­ure pro­tect­ing both groups; 28 per­cent op­pose it out­right. An­oth­er 9 per­cent fell in between. They sup­por­ted the le­gis­la­tion if it pro­tec­ted only gay men and wo­men and not trans­gender people.

That pat­tern held across most edu­ca­tion­al, gender, and ra­cial lines: Sup­port for in­clud­ing trans­gender pro­tec­tions lagged roughly 10 points be­hind those for sexu­al ori­ent­a­tion. Among Demo­crats, for ex­ample, 75 per­cent favored a meas­ure that in­cluded only sexu­al ori­ent­a­tion, while just 65 per­cent sup­por­ted one for gay and trans­gender people.

The gap will frus­trate trans­gender ad­voc­ates, but they should also find reas­on for op­tim­ism. They don’t have as much pub­lic sup­port as the gay-rights move­ment, whose high-pro­file fight over gay mar­riage is known to most every­one in the coun­try. But sup­port for trans­gender men and wo­men ap­pears to have grown just as it has for causes like gay mar­riage — so much so that after be­ing stripped from a 2007 ver­sion of the ENDA, trans­gender pro­tec­tions were in­cluded in the cur­rent it­in­er­a­tion that passed the Sen­ate on Nov. 7.

Re­pub­lic­ans, however, have less reas­on to smile. In ad­di­tion to an over­all ma­jor­ity, sup­port for ENDA cuts across most demo­graph­ic groups. And it even draws sig­ni­fic­ant sup­port from rank-and-file GOP voters, 43 per­cent of whom sup­port the le­gis­la­tion. A plur­al­ity — 49 per­cent — op­pose it, but the num­bers flip if only sexu­al ori­ent­a­tion is pro­tec­ted. In that case, 53 per­cent of Re­pub­lic­ans would back ENDA, while 40 per­cent wouldn’t.

The strong pub­lic sup­port comes nearly a year after the GOP vowed to broaden its ap­peal by, in part, dis­tan­cing it­self from cri­ti­cism that its agenda is dis­crim­in­at­ory. Few voters will pick their can­did­ate based on sup­port or op­pos­i­tion to a re­l­at­ively minor is­sue like ENDA, but it — along with the party’s much high­er-pro­file con­tin­ued op­pos­i­tion to gay mar­riage — squeezes its abil­ity to at­tract grow­ing parts of the Amer­ic­an elect­or­ate like young people, minor­it­ies, and white pro­fes­sion­als. United Tech­no­lo­gies/Na­tion­al Journ­al Con­gres­sion­al Con­nec­tion Poll show­ing that a ma­jor­ity of Amer­ic­ans sup­port le­gis­la­tion to bar em­ploy­ers from treat­ing work­ers dif­fer­ently due to their sexu­al ori­ent­a­tion.

It’s why some Re­pub­lic­an op­er­at­ives are adam­ant the party needs to em­brace the le­gis­la­tion. “Sup­port for ENDA should be a no-brain­er: An over­whelm­ing num­ber of Amer­ic­ans be­lieve Con­gress should pass this bill,” said Alex Lun­dry, a strategist who has worked to per­suade his party to sup­port the le­gis­la­tion and gay mar­riage. “Re­gard­less of where Re­pub­lic­ans are on gay mar­riage, there is ma­jor­ity agree­ment among the party’s voters that no one be dis­crim­in­ated against in the work­place.”

More edu­ca­tion pre­dis­poses people to sup­port the bill. Fifty-one per­cent of blue-col­lar whites back a meas­ure pro­tect­ing trans­gendered and gay people, 12 points lower than the 63 per­cent of white-col­lar whites who do. Among non­whites, the split is 60-35.

And like gay rights, the le­gis­la­tion does pro­duce a pro­nounced gen­er­a­tion­al dif­fer­ence. Sup­port is over­whelm­ing among 18-to-29-year-olds, at 67-29 per­cent. That’s a 44-point shift from seni­or cit­izens, a plur­al­ity of whom — 48 per­cent — op­pose it. Forty-two per­cent of seni­ors back le­gis­la­tion that of­fers pro­tec­tions for gay and trans­gendered people.

In­ter­views for the United Tech­no­lo­gies/Na­tion­al Journ­al Con­gres­sion­al Con­nec­tion Poll were con­duc­ted by land­line and cell phones with a na­tion­ally rep­res­ent­at­ive sample of 1,002 adults by Prin­ceton Sur­vey Re­search As­so­ci­ates In­ter­na­tion­al from Dec. 5-8. The mar­gin of er­ror for the poll was plus or minus 3.7 per­cent­age points.

What We're Following See More »
REGULAR ORDER
Ryan Pitching the Importance of Passing a Budget Today
1 minutes ago
THE LATEST

House Speaker Paul Ryan today is trying to convince his large but divided conference that they need to pass a budget under regular order. “Conservatives are revolting against higher top-line spending levels negotiated last fall by President Obama and Ryan’s predecessor, then-Speaker John Boehner (R-OH). GOP centrists are digging in on the other side, pledging to kill any budget that deviates from the two-year, bipartisan budget deal.” Ryan’s three options are to lower the budget numbers to appease the Freedom Caucus, “deem” a budget and move on to the appropriations process, or “preserve Obama-Boehner levels, but seek savings elsewhere.”

Source:
HEADED TO PRESIDENT’S DESK
Trade Bill Would Ban Imports Made with Slave Labor
33 minutes ago
THE DETAILS

“A bill headed for President Barack Obama this week includes a provision that would ban U.S. imports of fish caught by slaves in Southeast Asia, gold mined by children in Africa and garments sewn by abused women in Bangladesh, closing a loophole in an 85-year-old tariff law.” The Senate approved the bill, which would also ban Internet taxes and overhaul trade laws, by a vote of 75-20. It now goes to President Obama.

Source:
TRUMP UP TO 44%
Sanders Closes to Within Seven Nationally in New Poll
46 minutes ago
THE LATEST

Bernie Sanders has closed to within seven points of Hillary Clinton in a new Morning Consult survey. Clinton leads 46%-39%. Consistent with the New Hampshire voting results, Clinton does best with retirees, while Sanders leads by 20 percentage points among those under 30. On the Republican side, Donald Trump is far ahead with 44% support. Trailing by a huge margin are Ted Cruz (17%), Ben Carson (10%) and Marco Rubio (10%).

Source:
LEGACY PLAY
Sanders and Clinton Spar Over … President Obama
12 hours ago
WHY WE CARE

President Obama became a surprise topic of contention toward the end of the Democratic debate, as Hillary Clinton reminded viewers that Sanders had challenged the progressive bona fides of President Obama in 2011 and suggested that someone might challenge him from the left. “The kind of criticism that we’ve heard from Senator Sanders about our president I expect from Republicans, I do not expect from someone running for the Democratic nomination to succeed President Obama,” she said. “Madame Secretary, that is a low blow,” replied Sanders, before getting in another dig during his closing statement: “One of us ran against Barack Obama. I was not that candidate.”

THE 1%
Sanders’s Appeals to Minorities Still Filtered Through Wall Street Talk
13 hours ago
WHY WE CARE

It’s all about the 1% and Wall Street versus everyone else for Bernie Sanders—even when he’s talking about race relations. Like Hillary Clinton, he needs to appeal to African-American and Hispanic voters in coming states, but he insists on doing so through his lens of class warfare. When he got a question from the moderators about the plight of black America, he noted that during the great recession, African Americans “lost half their wealth,” and “instead of tax breaks for billionaires,” a Sanders presidency would deliver jobs for kids. On the very next question, he downplayed the role of race in inequality, saying, “It’s a racial issue, but it’s also a general economic issue.”

×