Support for LGBTQ Equality Grows as Bipartisan Lawmakers Build Momentum for Protections

February 1, 2019 • 10:07 am

WASHINGTON, D.C. – As the federal government continues its assault on LGBTQ people, bipartisan victories taking place at the state level demonstrate the majority of Americans who support nondiscrimination protections.

“Elected officials, voters, and everyday Americans increasingly agree: treating our LGBTQ neighbors with dignity and respect is the right thing to do and strengthens our country,” said Masen Davis, CEO of Freedom for All Americans. “Our American values of treating others as we would want to be treated transcend party lines. That’s why there has been so much momentum for protecting LGBTQ people in more than half a dozen states since Election Day. But thirty states still lack comprehensive and explicit nondiscrimination protections for LGBTQ people, and all of them are controlled by Republican legislatures — showcasing the critical need for us to continue working together to find common ground.”

Republican lawmakers are lead sponsors of LGBTQ nondiscrimination legislation in Arizona, Virginia, Florida, and Missouri; and Republican lawmakers are opposing anti-LGBTQ measures in Georgia, Texas, and Indiana. And in just four weeks, six Midwestern governors signed executive orders prohibiting discrimination against LGBTQ state employees, including three Republican governors.

“The through-line is clear: time and time again, Republican, Democratic, and independent voters are rejecting policies and politicians that target LGBTQ people for discrimination,” added Davis. “That rejection is taking place on grounds of both economic prosperity and basic decency, and it highlights the fact that discrimination is a losing proposition. Our victories in the states are critical to generate the momentum we’ll need to pass federal LGBTQ nondiscrimination protections and bring our nation one step closer towards liberty and justice for all.”

In 2018, FFAA led a historic effort in Massachusetts and secured a resounding 68% win for transgender nondiscrimination protections at the ballot box – the first-ever victory of its kind in any state. FFAA also helped lead the successful effort to enact a transgender nondiscrimination law in a Republican-controlled legislature for the first time, in New Hampshire.

Last week, New York became the 20th state to fully protect LGBTQ people from discrimination following a bipartisan win in both legislative chambers. In Virginia, a Republican House delegate spearheaded efforts to protect LGBTQ Virginians from discrimination that have passed the Republican-controlled state senate previously and garnered significant bipartisan support statewide.

These steps forward reflect the wider truth that Americans are increasingly electing pro-equality candidates, voting out vociferous anti-LGBTQ legislators this past Election Day in New York, Texas, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire. And just this week, a new poll showed that 70% of Americans oppose the ban on transgender members of the military.

Freedom for All Americans is the bipartisan campaign to secure full nondiscrimination protections for LGBTQ people nationwide. Our work brings together Republicans and Democrats, businesses large and small, people of faith, and allies from all walks of life to make the case for comprehensive nondiscrimination protections that ensure everyone is treated fairly and equally.

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