The Truth About How Many Americans Support LGBTQ Rights

Photographed by Stephanie Gonot

A new report from Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI) has found that most Americans oppose the restriction of LGBTQ rights.

Although the numbers make clear that America has a long way to go when it comes to eliminating LGBTQ discrimination, they offer a much-needed glimmer of hope that Americans' views are moving in the right direction.

Trump's Department of Justice supports the Colorado baker who refused to make a wedding cake for a same-sex couple, but 53% of Americans oppose allowing businesses to refuse wedding services to same-sex couples. Forty-one percent favor a religious exemption in these industries. White Americans and Republicans are more likely to be in favor of allowing wedding-based services to discriminate compared to people of color, Democrats, and Independents.

According to the report, 72% of Americans are in favor of laws protecting LGBTQ people from discrimination in jobs, public accommodation, and housing, compared to 24% who oppose these laws. In July, Trump's Department of Justice filed a federal lawsuit claiming that the Civil Rights Act of 1964 does not protect LGBTQ people from workplace discrimination.

In addition to the issue of workplace discrimination, PRRI's report also signals that the Trump administration is out of touch with the majority of American people when it comes to the transgender military ban. The report also finds that 64% of Americans believe trans people should be allowed to serve the country, compared to 30% who oppose their presence in the military.

Again, there was a notable political divide: Democrats are twice as likely as Republicans to support allowing trans people to serve. But that's not to say that all Republicans support the ban. In an important act of bipartisanship, Senators Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and Susan Collins (R-ME) have teamed up to fight Trump's military ban.

When it comes to the transgender bathroom issue, the statistics are less encouraging. Only half of Americans are against laws that require trans people to use bathrooms of the sex they were assigned at birth, while 38% support these policies (the remaining 12% have no opinion).

There has been progress in public support of marriage equality. Two years after the Supreme Court's landmark ruling that made same-sex marriage the law of the land, 66% of Americans are in favor of marriage equality while 28% oppose it.

The report shows that, although a narrow majority of Americans support LGBTQ rights, the community still faces discrimination as a matter of course.