A poll released Friday finds that a
majority of Americans oppose laws that prohibit transgender people
from using the bathroom of their choice and support LGBT protections.
Those are among the
findings by the Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI), a
nonpartisan research group based in Washington, D.C.
When asked, “Do you favor or oppose
allowing a small business owner in your state to refuse to provide
products or services to gay or lesbian people, if doing so violates
their religious beliefs?” sixty-four percent of respondents
answered “oppose,” while thirty-two percent answered “favor.”
When broken down by religious
affiliation, only one group, White evangelical Protestants, had a
majority of people (56%) answer “favor.”
The argument is often used as a defense
for state laws that block cities or municipalities from enacting
ordinances that prohibit discrimination in public accommodations
based on sexual orientation or gender identity.
Pollsters also found that a majority of
Americans (70%) support LGBT protections, though support was higher
among Democrats than Republicans, 77 versus 60 percent, respectively.
A majority (53%) of Americans also
oppose laws that restrict bathroom access for transgender people.
While North Carolina is the only state with such a law, many other
states are debating the issue.
However, a majority of Republicans
(59%) support such laws, while sixty-five percent of Democrats remain
Other findings include majority (63%)
support for same-sex marriage, though support lags in the South