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Equality Texas poll on non-discrimination laws

From the inbox:

New data released by national polling organization Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI) shows majority support from every major demographic group for laws to protect LGBTQ Texans from discrimination.

“This poll shows that Texas has turned the corner, and equality for LGBTQ Texans is solidly a mainstream Texas value. The majority of Texans of every region, religion and major ethnic group–including white evangelical Protestants–support legal protections against discrimination.

“Despite overwhelming support for these laws, most Texans don’t know that in Texas you can still legally be fired for who you are or who you love. It’s time to change that by passing comprehensive non-discrimination protections this year,” said Samantha Smoot, Interim Executive Director of Equality Texas.

Comprehensive non-discrimination bills have been filed by Senator Rodriguez (SB 151) Rep. Farrar (HB 244) and Rep. Bernal (HB 254).

The new, in-depth analysis comes from nationally recognized polling firm PRRI, a non-profit, non-partisan organization that conducts independent research at the intersection of religion, culture, and public policy. PRRI’s sample size includes nearly 3000 Texas interviews.

64% of all Texans oppose discrimination against LGBTQ Texans, including majority support from white evangelical Protestants, 54% of whom oppose discrimination. In a breakdown by region of the state, the numbers are highest in Austin, El Paso and the Dallas/Ft. Worth metroplex.

  • Austin/Round Rock 78%
  • El Paso 73%
  • Dallas/Ft. Worth/ Arlington 68%
  • Houston/Woodlands/Sugar Land 64%
  • San Antonio/New Braunfels 64%

The research shows support across a broad range of subgroups for laws to protect lesbian, gay, transgender, and bisexual people from discrimination in jobs, public spaces and housing. Notably, there is bipartisan and cross-denominational support among Texans for LGBTQ nondiscrimination laws, as well as majority support across five major Texas metropolitan areas.

The new analysis also finds that 57% of all Texans oppose allowing a small business owner to refuse to provide products or services to gay or lesbian people based on the owner’s religious beliefs. To date, three bills (HB 1035 by Zedler, SB 444 by Perry and SB 85 by Hall) have been filed in the Texas legislature that would create a license to discriminate against LGBTQ Texans for special groups.

You can see the poll data here. For marriage equality, the numbers are 55% favor, 34% oppose. This is a poll of adults, not registered voters and thus certainly not actual voters, a bit of skepticism on top of the usual amount given for an individual poll is called for. It also helps to have other poll results to compare to, so I went looking and found this from 2017, when the entire state was being held hostage by Dan Patrick’s desire to be the potty police.

Some voters like the [proposed “bathroom bill”] more than others. Overall, 44 percent consider it important and 47 percent do not. Among all Republicans — including those who identify with the Tea Party and those who don’t — 57 percent said such a bill is important, and among Tea Party Republicans, 70 percent said so. Democrats are on the other side of this one, with 53 percent saying the legislation is either “not very important” or “not important at all.”


That was one of several cultural questions in the June UT/TT Poll. A majority of voters — 55 percent — say gays and lesbians should have the right to marry, a view shared by 77 percent of Democrats, but rejected by 52 percent of Republicans. Across those and most other subgroups in the poll, opposition to same-sex marriage in Texas is softening and support is growing. In June 2015, 66 percent of Democrats approved of same-sex marriages and 60 percent of Republicans did not. Overall, 44 percent of Texans were supportive while 41 percent were not. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled two years ago that gay marriage bans are unconstitutional.

“It’s going to take time,” said Daron Shaw, who co-directs the poll and teaches government at UT-Austin. “But there’s a broader push to inclusivity and diversity, particularly among young people.”

Click through to the poll summary, and you see that support for marriage equality was 55% in favor, and 32% oppose. Which is to say, right in line with this EqTX poll. That’s encouraging, but also a reminder that Texas isn’t quite voting in line with those numbers yet. 2018 was a big step in that direction, and with a slate of candidates that were up front about their support for LGBT equality, but still short of winning. What we should take from these numbers is that we truly are in the majority, and we need to keep pushing. We didn’t win last time, but we’re on our way.

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  1. Manny says:

    Until Trump and the Republican Senate are gone, the polls won’t make a difference. The Republicans have to have bogeymen.

  2. Bill Daniels says:

    I’d like a list of 5 people, ANY 5 people in Texas, in the last 10 years, their names, cities, etc., that have been fired for “who they are or who they love.”

    Who is looking for boogeymen? It’s the radical left, looking for more legislation to sue and harass employers. People, just go to work and do your job and you should be fine.

  3. Manny says:

    Bill go to PACER and you can find a ton of people that have claimed they were fired for what they are. PACER is a federal website, but you have to pay to read.

    Or go to District Clerk and look online for people that have sued because of discrimination.

    Learn to do something, I get sick and tired of lazy people wanting everything given to them.

  4. Tom in Lazybrook says:

    If theres no discrimination, then it wouldnt cost anyone anything to just make it illegal.

    How about Mansfield ISD, which apparently has a de facto ban on out LGBT teachers in their entire elementary school system. A teacher was removed because she was openly LGBT last year.

    How many jobs are at taxpayer supported institutions where married LGBT persons are banned from employment? How about taxpayer funding at discriminatory hospitals, schools, and social work agencies?

    And thats before you get into discrimination in benefits, or entities that bar married LGBT persons from advancement.

    Even before we get into discrimination in the private sector, how about you just look at discrimination in the the publically funded sector?

    Youll likely find hundreds, if not thousands of jobs in Texas where LGBT persons are banned from employment.

  5. Bill Daniels says:

    ” Bailey was repeatedly warned not to engage in discussions regarding artists’ sexual orientation and their relationships with other artists—but only after the school received multiple complaints from parents. It says, “Ms. Bailey refused to follow administration’s directions regarding age-appropriate conversation with students.””

    This woman taught elementary school kids. Kindergarten isn’t the place for young children to be indoctrinated with the gay agenda. She was warned repeatedly to keep that out of the classroom, but she just couldn’t help herself.

    She wasn’t suspended for who she is or who she loves, she was suspended for activism in the classroom, as she should have been. I’m sure everyone at the school already knew she was gay. Schools have events that the family comes to. I’m sure her ‘wife’ came to see her get her teacher of the year award. Funny she didn’t get suspended after that. Why not? That would have been the time to suspend her, when she’s out and proud about who she is and who she loves. I would have expected her to be suspended the very next day if that was the reason.


  6. Tom in Lazybrook says:

    Bailey was fired for being Gay and married and being open about it.

    Name the openly Gay teachers in Mansfield ISD elementary schools.

    There was no more sexual context in her statements than a statement acknowledging a family with a man married to a woman.

    Why do you feel that acknowledging gay people exist is so filthy that kids cant be around them? Why do you think we all should be treated as child rapists? And you obviously do.

    You dont have a right to be Gay and married if you can be fired if anyone knows about it.

    You make the point for me that discrimination is widespread and requires legislation to make it illegal.

  7. Tom in Lazybrook says:

    How about Granbury State Bank firing a male employee after he complained after being passed over for promotion for not having a female wife and kids?

    Let me guess. Youll find some way to defend Granbury State Bank firing a single gay man because he isnt married and Mansfield ISD for firing a Lesbian because she is married. I think youll probably call every gay person so filthy and disgusting that, unlike straight people, our relationships or existence cant be acknowledged around kids. Again.

    But hey, lets hear your take on Granbury State Bank.

    And when youre done with that. Ill hit you with another case.

  8. Bill Daniels says:


    For your assertion to be correct, she would have had to have been suspended when it was first discovered she was gay. Do you know this to be a fact? Did she list her wife as the beneficiary on her district funded life insurance policy? Red flag there. If we were firing gays, that would be a gimmee. Did she add her wife to her health insurance as a spouse? Easy red flag. How about any of the school events that spouses attend? The wife wasn’t there to see her get that teacher of the year award? Are you stating as fact she took the trouble to hide her gay spouse from the district, and was fired when she told her kids about it? Why would anyone do that? It just doesn’t make sense.

    I mean, that’s possible, I guess, but not probable. For your story to make sense, she would have had to have been suspended the MINUTE the district got wind that she was gay, and that doesn’t jive with what the district said, OR with common sense.

  9. Bill Daniels says:

    “Why do you think we all should be treated as child rapists? And you obviously do. ”

    LOL. Better get some ice on that sprain from overreaching. I already have stated I SUPPORT gay marriage, ergo, I support YOU. I support you getting the same CoH benefits that every other married couple gets. I support you getting SS survivor benefits if your husband is the breadwinner and he dies before you do. That’s fair. Ilso don’t think you are any more or less likely to be a pedo because you are gay, so that’s another red herring.

    And if you want to teach kids, more power to you. I judge you on how you do the job, and how well the kids learn. Having said that, I don’t want you promoting things that are not age appropriate to those kids, and that’s where I think we will differ.

    I’m going to need a link on the banker, because my DuckDuckGo-fu must be weak, I can’t find anything about it.

  10. Tom in Lazybrook says:

    So you think its not discrimination to fire a teacher for not hiding her marriage from kids? While other teachers presentin a straight married couples in multiple classroom activities?

    If we arent open, we dont exist. Telling someone you can be Gay so long as no one knows is still a discrimanatory ban.

    How many male-female marriages are presented in elementary school formats? Why does that present no cause for dismissal?

    Oh yea…the old Gays rape/threaten kids trope.

    It appears as though you openly support the firing of hundreds of thousands of Gay people from jobs where they interact with kids. Or at least support firing them if they dont hide their relationships. Thats discrimination.

    Im sure she didnt get fired the second they found out about it. What usually happens is that the bigots will scrutinize every action they take to find a discriminatory context to fire the gay person.

    You appear to be an advocate of discrimination. Its kind of hard to argue that discrimination exists with someone who either directly supports discrimination or who doesnt think that it is wrong. Youll always find a way to dismiss those claims. Always.

    But youre free to comment on Granbury State Bank. Looking forward to your contortions.

    Probably just easier to admit that you dont feel that firing gays for being open and married isnt wrong.

    What percentage of education jobs should be unavailable to openly LGBT married educators? Health care executives? Social workers?

  11. Manny says:

    Bill, you found a case that you liked. Your argument could easily be, read today that a white man killed his children, therefore all white men are evil and kill their children.

    That above Bill is your typical argument, illogical sprinkled with a ton of hate.

  12. Tom in Lazybrook says:

    Bill, you can find the granbury case using a simple google search of “granbury state bank gay” and take your pick of the results.

  13. Bill Daniels says:

    The district says she was suspended after repeated complaints by the parents, and repeated counseling by the district. Was this a lie? Are you contending that the district recruited parents, on the sly, to make complaints about this teacher in order to build a case for firing?

    All I know about the case is what I read in the article that I posted the link for, something you seem to be unwilling to do. As stated, my Duck Duck Go doesn’t return any search results on a Granbury bank case, even with the specific terms you listed

    As far as discrimination goes, let me lay it out for you. I don’t think any public entity should be discriminating against somebody because that person is gay. I do think it’s OK to discriminate for inappropriate activity on the job, or negative attention you draw to the employer OFF the job, and repeatedly telling little kids about the gay (or hetero) lifestyles of artists isn’t necessary or germane to teaching elementary school art class. It’s not appropriate. I certainly wouldn’t fire a teacher of the year for doing it once, but doing it repeatedly tells me it’s not incidental information being provided, but rather a willful decision to keep on being inappropriate.

    You once again try to ascribe attitudes and characteristics to me that aren’t true, even after I very specifically made my thoughts clear. I don’t think you are any more or less likely to rape kids because you are gay, and if I did think you were a deviant sex predator, I wouldn’t hesitate to say so….but I don’t, and am not.

    One other thing. Not wanting more laws on the books /= advocate for discrimination. This same argument was pushed during the HERO dust up, and it was black Houstonians that ended up putting the kibosh on that. Do you think black people advocate for discrimination? Hell yeah, let’s discriminate more, y’all!?!?

    Finally, if you want to be outraged, why not be outraged about this:

    Here’s one of OUR gays getting discriminated against by Facebook (one of yours). I don’t see y’all railing against injustice against Brandon, the gay hairdresser. Why not?

  14. Tom in Lazybrook says:

    Just because some parents (many others support the teacher) are Fred Phelps level bigots who think that simply acknowledging that gay people exist is so vile and disgusting that she should be removed as a threat to the kids is not a reason for a teacher to be removed from a public school.

    When straight teachers get fired from their jobs at Mansfield ISD for mentioning the straight spouse of themselves or another person (by mentioning the spouse), only then you can credibly even begin to discuss what Mansfield is doing as not discrimination. Your argument is BS. When has a straight teacher ever been fired for presenting male female relationships in a non sexual way?

    Im aware that some Blacks hate Gay people. Theres a white Republicanish Houston City Councilmember who likes to gin up hatred of Gays to gain votes from that community. He appears to want to get his rocks off by trying to start a fight between African Americans and LGBTs.

    Discrimination is wrong, regardless of the color of the discriminator.

  15. Christopher Busby says:

    LGBT issues tend to poll well in the abstract however voters who favor LGBT issues outside the LGBT community tend not to base their votes for or against candidates based in those issues. This is changing some with Millenials, but there is a good chunk of the Republican vote that would be classified as moderately pro-LGBT but will vote for candidates virulently opposed because of their positions on a variety of other issues.

    The dissonance between this plays into the larger culture wars and is one of many reasons Texas is shifting to the middle, but only in conjuntion with a much greater list of social issues. There are many dedicated activists in GOP ranks who are working to shift the dynamic of the party to be more modern but I expect it will be too little too late to stop the massive urban shifts happening now.

  16. Steve Houston says:

    Bill, if the mere mention of a spouse will be grounds for dismissal, then something is wrong with that situation that needs to be fixed. Would you be okay if you were fired because you “kept indoctrinating” children by mentioning your spouse? It’s tough enough to recruit and retain quality teachers that making them walk on eggshells over an innocent comment or two shouldn’t be an issue.

    As far as you wanting names of those discriminated against, when I owned a commercial venture in SW Houston not too long ago, I used to contract out some detail work to a variety of people based on the quality of work and price. I heard plenty of stories of how larger firms fired people for their statuses, too many to outright dismiss even if I was completely skeptical. As far as your fear of a wave of lawsuits, you’re just speculating-presumably based on gender or race lawsuits that are often very legitimate.

  17. Bill Daniels says:

    Hey, lookie here! A city is discriminating against people in contractor hiring decisions for who they are and what they love:

    I’m sure everyone here will be dutifully outraged at this injustice.

    I’ll wait.