A new survey of likely Texas voters shows that a majority believe that discrimination against LGBT Texans is either a “major” or a “minor” problem and that they would support a state law protecting LGBT Texans from employment discrimination.
These poll results come in a year that has seen Texas lawmakers propose nearly two dozen laws that single out lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Texans for discrimination—in some cases even creating criminal penalties if transgender people use certain public or school restrooms.
Texas Wins, a statewide coalition “committed to demonstrating true Texas values and protecting all Texans from discrimination,” on Wednesday released the results of the poll, which surveyed 800 Texans who identify across the political spectrum.
Close to 80 percent of respondents said that religious freedom “does not give any of us the right to harm others.”
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More than 64 percent of the voters surveyed said that they were “not very” or “not at all” convinced that same-sex marriage threatens religious freedom, and more than three-quarters of respondents said that “religion is extremely or very important to them.”
Terri Burke, the ACLU of Texas’ executive director, said in a press release that “Texas lawmakers are too busy perfecting a discrimination playbook to notice that their constituents have left them behind.”
More than half of the respondents would also oppose a proposed modification to state law that would provide more protections for Texans who discriminate against others based on their own religious beliefs, according to G Squared Public Strategies, which conducted the polling and worked for Sen. John McCain’s presidential campaign.
Of the 800 likely voters surveyed, about 51 percent “identified as conservative,” and nearly 53 percent were women. Seventy percent said they were white, with Hispanic or Latino Texans making up 16.4 percent and Black Texans making up 8 percent of respondents.