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Poll Results: Anti-LGBT Bathroom Bills, Christian vs Muslim Discrimination, Immigration. How Do Americans Feel?

The Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI) has released new findings in a post titled, "Majority of Americans Oppose Transgender Bathroom Restrictions." The new results are just a month after we shared their 2016 survey findings in Do Most Religious Americans Want “Religious Freedom” Laws Allowing Anti-LGBT Discrimination

There is a little overlap in both surveys but other facts are making 2017 differences in opinions well known.

The most recent PRRI statistics were found when it surveyed 2,031 adults between February 10, 2017, and February 19, 2017. You can read the entire survey report here: http://www.prri.org/research/lgbt-transgender-bathroom-discrimination-religious-liberty/.

Opposition to allowing businesses to refuse service to gay and lesbian people on religious grounds. Nearly two-thirds (64 percent) of Americans oppose allowing small business owners in their state to refuse to provide products or services to gay or lesbian people if doing so violates their religious beliefs.

Increasing support for same-sex marriage. After plateauing in 2015, support for same-sex marriage has risen over the past year. More than six in ten (63 percent) Americans now favor allowing gay and lesbian couples to marry legally. As recently as 2013, only slightly more than half (52 percent) of the public backed same-sex marriage.

 

Ongoing support for LGBT nondiscrimination laws. The survey finds continued broad support for laws that protect LGBT individuals from discrimination. Seven in ten (70 percent) Americans -- including nearly eight in ten Democrats (77 percent), more than seven in ten (72 percent) independents, and six in ten Republicans (60 percent) -- favor laws protecting LGBT people from discrimination in jobs, public accommodations, and housing.

Divide on sexual morality. The country is evenly divided on the question of whether sex is only morally acceptable if it is between a married man and woman (48 percent agree, 49 percent disagree). More than eight in ten (83 percent) white evangelical Protestants believe sex is only moral when it is between a married heterosexual couple, as do more than six in ten (63 percent) nonwhite Protestants. Forty-six percent of Catholics, 40 percent of white mainline Protestants, and 23 percent of religiously unaffiliated Americans agree.

Support for the Johnson Amendment. More than seven in ten (71 percent) Americans oppose allowing churches and places of worship to endorse political candidates while retaining their tax-exempt status, compared to only 22 percent who favor such a policy.

 

Republicans' perceptions of which groups face discrimination. In a striking contrast with the general public, few Republicans believe gay and lesbian people face a lot of discrimination in the country today (61 percent vs. 40 percent, respectively). Republicans are significantly more likely to believe that whites, rather than blacks, experience a lot of discrimination in the U.S. today (43 percent vs. 27 percent). And Republicans are about equally as likely to say both Christians (48 percent) and Muslims (45 percent) experience a lot of discrimination in the U.S. today.

Discrimination against Muslims vs. Christians. White evangelicals are more likely to believe that Christians face a lot of discrimination than they are to believe Muslims face a lot of discrimination in the country today (57 percent vs. 44 percent, respectively). White evangelicals are also the only major religious group in which a majority believe Christians face a lot of discrimination. In contrast, roughly three-quarters of religiously unaffiliated Americans (77 percent) and nonwhite Protestants (75 percent), and more than six in ten white Catholics (64 percent) and white mainline Protestants (63 percent) agree Muslims face a lot of discrimination.

Discrimination against immigrants. Nearly two-thirds (64 percent) say immigrants face a lot of discrimination in the U.S. today. Democrats are twice as likely as Republicans to say immigrants face a lot of discrimination in society (82 percent vs. 41 percent, respectively).

Churches alienating young people. Half (50 percent) of Americans agree religious groups are alienating young people by being too judgmental about gay and lesbian issues, while nearly as many (45 percent) disagree. Majorities of religiously unaffiliated individuals (65 percent), white mainline Protestants (51 percent), and white Catholics (51 percent) agree, while majorities of white evangelical Protestants (63 percent) and nonwhite Protestants (56 percent) disagree.

h/t:

Jones, Robert P., Daniel Cox, Betsy Cooper, and Rachel Lienesch. “Majority of Americans Oppose Transgender Bathroom Restrictions.” PRRI. 2017. http://www.prri.org/research/lgbt-transgender-bathroom-discrimination-re...

Methodology
The survey was designed and conducted by PRRI. The survey was made possible by generous grants from the Gill Foundation, the Nathan Cummings Foundation, and the Arcus Foundation. Results of the survey were based on bilingual (Spanish and English) RDD telephone interviews conducted between February 10, 2017, and February 19, 2017, by professional interviewers under the direction of SSRS. Interviews were conducted among a random sample of 2,031 adults 18 years of age or older living in the United States (1,211 respondents were interviewed on a cell phone).