Texas: Majority Support Protecting LGBT Individuals from Employment Bias

By SHRM Online staff May 21, 2015

A majority of voters in Texas support efforts to protect lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) individuals from employment discrimination, according to a recent poll of 800 likely Texas voters.

Voters were asked if they would support or oppose a state law that protects gay and transgender people from employment discrimination. Overall, 62.6 percent said they would support such a measure, with 44.1 percent strongly supporting it, and 18.5 percent somewhat supporting it. Only 25.5 percent would oppose it.

A strong majority of voters believed that discrimination against the LGBT community is a problem. Of those polled, 32.6 percent of voters said discrimination was a major problem and another 28.6 percent said it was a minor problem.

More than three-quarters of survey respondents said religion is extremely or very important to them personally. Despite their personal commitment to religion, when asked about religious exemption laws generally, more than 52 percent of voters opposed such laws.

“Texas lawmakers have filed a flurry of bills to enshrine discrimination against gay and transgender people under the guise of religious liberty. But its clear that Texans dont support allowing people to use religion as a weapon to harm others,” said Christina Gorczynski, campaign director for Texas Wins. “No matter what questions we asked, a strong majority of Texans favored equality, regardless of political party.”

More than 20 bills have been introduced in the Legislature targeting gay and transgender Texans for discrimination, despite growing national outrage and negative economic consequences in other states, such as Indiana and Arkansas, according to Texas Wins.

The poll was conducted G Squared Public Strategies in April 2015, and yielded a margin of error of 3.46 percent at the 95 percent confidence level. It is available at http://TXWins.org/PollingMemo.

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