3.15.19 The Equality Act Introduced Amid Widespread Support for LGBT Protections

The Equality Act Introduced Amid Widespread Support for LGBT Protections 

On Wednesday, members of Congress reintroduced the Equality Act, an update of the Civil Rights Act that would provide more protections to the LGBT community. “According to a new poll out this week from the Public Religion Research Institute, a majority of Americans, in each and every state believe that the law should protect LGBTQ people from discriminations,” Rep. David Cicilline (D-RI) said at the legislation’s introduction. The report shows widespread support for LGBT nondiscrimination protections across party, geographical, and religious levels. “In addition to adding ‘gender identity’ and ‘sexual orientation’ to the classes protected against discrimination by the Civil Rights Act of 1964, NBC News reports. “The new bill specifies that it is illegal to discriminate against all protected classes in retail stores, emergency shelters, banks, transit and pharmacies, among other places.”
Eugene Scott: Equality Act Could Split Republican Party

Eugene Scott of The Washington Post takes a deeper look at the Equality Act and whether the bill could soon become law. Scott cites PRRI data that shows that 71 percent of Americans support “laws like the Equality Act.” Though Scott believes the chances of the bill passing are slim, he argues that the widespread support for the issues in the bill could split the Republican Party. “The legislation is unpopular with constituencies that tend to back the Republican Party, and they are pushing back,” Scott writes. “According to that PRRI poll, nearly two-thirds of Republicans say small-business owners should be allowed to refuse service to LGBTQ people. More than 6 in 10 white evangelicals agree.” PRRI’s latest data shows that 69 percent of Americans favor nondiscrimination protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people.
What Does the Cheating Scandal Say About College Admissions?

In the wake of an indictment in Boston that revealed a national college admissions cheating scandal, questions about who gets a fair shake in the nation’s education system have bubbled to the surface. The New York Times profiles a charter school in a low-income area of Kansas City, Missouri. Because of racial and economic disparities in access to high education, college is not always guaranteed for these students. Khiana Jackson, a senior at Ewing Marion Kauffman School, who has been accepted to the University of Chicago says, “It’s frustrating that people are able to obtain their opportunities this way.” She continues, “We can put in work from fifth grade to 12th grade, every single day, come in early, leave late, and it’s still not enough.” PRRI survey from 2017 showed that 54 percent of Americans believe ensuring all children have equal opportunities to succeed was a critical issue to them personally. However, the vast majority (89 percent) of Americans say we have a moral responsibility to make sure that every child in the U.S. has an opportunity to succeed. 
Are the Politics of the Christian Right Linked to State Rates of the Nonreligious?

A member of the PRRI Board of Directors and professor at Denison University, Paul A. Djupe, was honored among several writers for a 2018 article analyzing the politics of the Christian Right. Djupe co-wrote a piece on the idea that the Christian Right has made religion “inhospitable” for people with more moderate or liberal views on topics related to religion. The Political Research Quarterly, the official journal of the Western Political Science Association, named the article one of the best articles of 2018.