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Texans oppose LGBT discrimination

From Texas Wins:

Nearly two-thirds of likely voters in Texas support protecting gay and transgender Texans from discrimination, according to a new poll released today. The statewide survey also found that a strong majority of voters believe that discrimination against gay and transgender Texans is a problem.

View the findings of the poll here:

“Texas lawmakers have filed a flurry of bills to enshrine discrimination against gay and transgender people under the guise of religious liberty. But it’s clear that Texans don’t support allowing people to use religion as a weapon to harm others,” said Christina Gorczynski, campaign director for Texas Wins. “No matter what questions we asked, a strong majority of Texans favored equality, regardless of political party.”

More than 20 bills have been introduced in the Legislature targeting gay and transgender Texans for discrimination, despite growing national outrage and negative economic consequences in other states, such as Indiana and Arkansas.

“Our poll shows that while Texas voters value religious freedom, a majority oppose ‘religious exemption’ laws,” said Greg Strimple of G Squared Public Strategies, the pollster who conducted the statewide survey on behalf of Texas Wins. “Nearly 80 percent of voters believe that religious freedom does not give individuals license to hurt others.”

Key findings:

  • More than half of the poll’s respondents identified as conservative and three-quarters said religion is extremely or very important to them personally.
  • A strong majority of voters believe that discrimination against the gay and transgender community is a problem.
  • Nearly 63% of voters would also support a law protecting these individuals from discrimination.
  • A majority of Republicans are concerned about discrimination and support efforts to protect gay and transgender individuals from employment discrimination.
  • Despite their personal commitment to religion, when asked about religious exemption laws generally, more than 52% of voters opposed such laws.
  • Voters overwhelmingly believe that religious freedom is protected by the U.S. Constitution, and that protecting religious freedom has fostered healthy diversity in American culture.
  • While they value religious freedom, 79% of voters believe that this freedom does not give individuals license to hurt others.
  • A strong majority of voters reject the notion that gay marriage threatens religious freedom.

The pollsters for G Squared include Greg Strimple and Robert Jones. Strimple served as a senior advisor to the John McCain for President campaign. Before joining G Squared, Jones worked for two cycles at the National Republican Congressional Committee, mostly recently as the West Regional Political Director.

Here’s the Chron story that recaps this, and as noted you can see the polling memo here. The encouraging news here is that the state is more enlightened than you might think, as was the case with the 2015 Houston Area Survey. The discouraging news is that our government – specifically, our Legislature – does not reflect that. That’s a problem rooted partially in a lack of participation in elections, and partly in the brutal efficiency of our gerrymandering, where most elections are decided in March and the winners on the Republican side tend to strongly favor the retrograde perspective. Nothing is going to change until those things do. But at least we know the goal we’re working towards is achievable.

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