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Support for LGBTQ Rights Is High, Even Among Conservatives and Republicans
Mackenzie Boughey,
Topics: LGBTQ

June is designated as Pride Month to commemorate the anniversary of the Stonewall uprising of 1969, a major milestone in the gay rights movement and to celebrate people who identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and queer. More than 50 years later, LGBTQ rights are overwhelmingly popular with the American public. 

According to PRRI’s 2020 American Values Atlas, a two-thirds majority of Americans (67%) favor allowing gay and lesbian couples to legally marry, while 27% of Americans oppose same-sex marriage. Attitudes on the subject have grown more supportive over time. Data from PRRI’s American Values Survey shows that nearly half of Americans (48%) supported LGBTQ marriage in 2011, and the 2017 American Values Atlas showed that this increased to 61% that year.

Majorities across the party spectrum support same-sex marriage. A slim majority of Republicans (51%) favor allowing gay and lesbian couples to legally marry, while more than four in ten Republicans (43%) oppose same-sex marriage. More than seven in ten independents (72%) and three in four Democrats (76%) support same-sex marriage. 

Substantial majorities of liberals (81%) and moderates (72%) support same-sex marriage. Majorities of moderate Republicans (70%), moderate independents (74%), and moderate Democrats (73%) support same-sex marriage. Two-thirds of liberal Republicans (66%), 83% of liberal independents, and 84% of liberal Democrats also favor it. 

A slim majority of conservatives (51%) support same-sex marriage, while more than four in ten (42%) oppose it. Among conservative Republicans, 45% support it, and more than half (51%) oppose it. Majorities of conservative independents (59%) and conservative Democrats (60%) support same-sex marriage. 

The same patterns generally hold regarding support LGBTQ nondiscrimination protections. 

PRRI data shows that a substantial majority of Americans (76%) favor laws that would protect gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people against discrimination in jobs, public accommodations, and housing. Nearly one in five Americans (19%) oppose these laws. Support for nondiscrimination laws has increased from seven in ten (70%) and 23% opposition in 2017.

Majorities of Republicans (62%), independents (78%), and Democrats (85%) support laws that protect LGBTQ citizens from discrimination. Three in ten Republicans (30%) oppose them, along with 18% of independents and 13% of Democrats who do not support anti-discrimination laws. 

A majority of conservatives (64%) support nondiscrimination laws for LGBTQ people, along with overwhelming majorities of moderates (81%) and liberals (87%) who also favor them. Nearly one in three conservatives (29%) oppose these laws. Nearly one in five moderates (16%) and 11% of liberals also oppose them. 

Among conservatives, nearly six in ten Republicans (59%) support the laws, while more than one-third (35%) do not. Nearly seven in ten conservative independents (69%) and nearly three in four conservative Democrats (73%) also support nondiscrimination laws. 

Substantial majorities of moderates across the partisan spectrum support laws that would protect LGBTQ Americans. This is evident among moderate Republicans (75%), moderate independents (81%), and moderate Democrats (83%). A substantial majority of liberal Democrats (91%) support the laws, while 9% do not. Substantial majorities of liberal Republicans (73%) and liberal independents (86%) also favor anti-discrimination laws.