Polling Shows Strong Support for ENDA

During the summer of 2011, the Center for American Progress (CAP) released a new public opinion poll showing that the American public strongly supports workplace nondiscrimination protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people.

Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research fielded the CAP poll of likely 2012 voters in the first and second weeks of April 2011, and support for ENDA is striking: Nearly three-fourths of voters (73 percent) support protecting gay and transgender people from workplace discrimination. This support cuts across political party affiliation, with 81 percent of Democrats, 74 percent of independents, and 66 percent of Republicans supporting workplace nondiscrimination laws for LGBT people.

Jeff Krehely of CAP writes that the poll shows that Catholic (74 percent support) and senior citizen (61 percent support) voters are also clearly in favor of workplace protections for LGBT people. Even among voters who identify themselves as feeling generally unfavorable toward gay people, a full 50 percent support workplace nondiscrimination protections for the gay and transgender population.

A majority of Americans have supported equal rights and opportunities for gay people in the workplace since polls as early as the 1980’s. Polling questions about transgender workers have only been asked recently. However, the 2011 CAP poll shows that voters support transgender protections at almost the same rate they support gay protections. Seventy- five percent of likely voters say they favor “protecting gay and lesbian people from discrimination in employment,” while 73 percent say they favor these protections for “gay, lesbian, and transgender people.” The responses in the CAP poll are essentially identical, and demonstrate strong support for a fully inclusive ENDA.

The survey also found that nine of out ten voters mistakenly believe that a federal law is already in place protecting LGBT people from workplace discrimination. These numbers show the huge disconnect between voter perceptions about workplace protections and the realities that LGBT people face on the job. That is why Freedom to Work is launching a Speakers Bureau to change hearts and minds and grow support for workplace equality and the ENDA. You can read more about joining our Speakers Bureau.