Non-Discrimination by the Numbers: Polling Data & Statistics

A majority of gay and transgender people – 52 percent – live in states that don’t offer any explicit non-discrimination protections in employment, housing, and public accommodations. But discrimination happens every single day, and a majority of Americans overwhelmingly support comprehensive non-discrimination protections. (Click here to download a PDF version of this resource)

Who Experiences Discrimination?

  • Gay and transgender people experience discrimination each and every day. A 2015 study found that 63 percent of gay and transgender Americans have experienced some form of discrimination.
  • The numbers are even more troubling for the transgender community – 90 percent of whom have faced discrimination or harassment or hid who they were to avoid discrimination or harassment at work according to research from the National LGBTQ Task Fore and the National Center for Transgender Equality
  • In all, 64 percent of gay and transgender Americans cite discrimination as a major problem in our country.
  • Nearly all studies that examine LGBT discrimination find that bias and profiling make people of color, transgender people, youth, and older adults more vulnerable to discrimination.

From Coast to Coast, Americans Support Comprehensive Federal Protections

  • A strong majority of Americans support comprehensive nondiscrimination protections – and lawmakers ought to take particular note of the high levels of support among young Americans.
  • A supermajority of our nation’s small business owners – 80 percent – support federal protections for LGBT people covering public accommodations – public spaces like restaurants, shops, hotels and parks. That’s according to a July 2015 poll from Small Business Majority, the Center for American Progress and American Unity Fund.
  • A recent survey from Hart Research found that nearly 70 percent of Millennial adults support comprehensive federal nondiscrimination legislation for gay and transgender Americans. Their support is unwavering across the country – from 80 percent in the Northeast to 60 percent in the Midwest, 57 percent in the South to 66 percent in the West.
  • Those numbers back up the results of a March 2015 survey, which found that 69 percent of Americans support comprehensive federal legislation aimed at extending commonsense protections to gay and transgender people.

Strong Majorities of Americans Reject Discrimination

Polling shows Americans also overwhelmingly reject efforts to blatantly discriminate against gay and transgender people in employment, housing, and public accommodations.

  • According to an April Reuters/Ipsos poll, 54 percent said it was wrong for businesses to deny services to gay and transgender people.
  • An even higher percentage – 55 percent – said businesses shouldn’t have the right to not hire a gay or transgender person solely because of an employer’s personal beliefs.
  • Nearly 60 percent of small business owners reject laws that would allow individuals or businesses to legally refuse service to LGBT people based on religious beliefs, according to a July 2015 poll.
  • An April 2015 study from the Center for American Progress and Hart Research showed that Millennial voters overwhelmingly support comprehensive LGBT don-discrimination protections and oppose discrimination.

Resource Updated March 2016


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