From battles about bathrooms to marriage, it can often seem like LGBTQ rights are a truly controversial aspect of American politics. But among the majority of Americans, the debate seems to be over.
A new poll of more than 2,000 US adults, conducted in February by the Public Religion Research Institute, reached very clear conclusions: Across the board, a majority of US adults are supportive of LGBTQ rights — whether it’s marriage, nondiscrimination laws, or bathroom access for transgender people. Most of the country is now supportive of these basic rights.
Here are some of the results in the poll, broken down by the big issues of the day.
More than six in 10 Americans support marriage equality
PRRI found, “After plateauing in 2015, support for same-sex marriage has accelerated through 2016 and into early 2017. Today, more than six in ten (63%) favor allowing gay and lesbian couples to marry legally. As recently as 2013, only slightly more than half (52%) the public backed same-sex marriage nationally.”
Most Americans, regardless of party, support civil rights laws that protect LGBTQ people from discrimination in the workplace, housing, and public accommodations
Most Americans oppose laws that ban transgender people from using the bathroom that aligns with their gender identity
One explanation for the findings: More Americans have close social contact with out gay people today
And more Americans — although still a minority — have close social contact with out trans people today
Finally, Americans just have more knowledge about trans issues
PRRI noted, “Today, more than eight in ten (84%) Americans say they know what the term transgender means. In 2011, seven in ten (70%) said they fully understood the term transgender, while roughly one-quarter (24%) knew the term but not what it meant and another 5% had never heard the term before.”
This is how LGBTQ advocacy groups built support for same-sex marriage and plan to continue building support for other LGBTQ causes: by showing the public that LGBTQ Americans are just normal people who just happen to identify with a different sexual orientation or gender identity. Given PRRI’s findings, that seems to be working — and the majority of Americans are already on board with LGBTQ equality.