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Poll finds voters support anti-discrimination laws to protect gay and transgender workers

A recent poll found that most Americans likely to vote in the 2012 elections are in favor of anti-discrimination measures to protect the rights of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people in the workplace. The Center for American Progress (CAP) recently reported on the April poll by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research. The poll found that 73 percent of likely voters support laws prohibiting discriminatory employment practices against GLBT workers.

The poll also found that 9 out of 10 likely voters believes that federal laws already exist that prohibit employers from discriminating against GLBT people in the workplace. This is not the case. Some states have laws specifically protecting gay and transgender people from discrimination in the workplace, but there is no federal law yet that does this. A proposed law has been introduced in the House and Senate and is currently being considered.

The Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) would federally protect gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people from discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity in the workplace. Employers are already prohibited from discriminating in hiring, pay or promotions against many protected groups, such as older Americans, women, pregnant women, people with disabilities, people of color and other groups. This law would extend the same or similar protections to GLBT workers.

The recent poll found that 90 percent of transgender workers said that they had faced harassment or discrimination in pay, promotions, hiring or firing. Up to 43 percent of people who are gay have said that they have experienced discrimination in the workplace. Under ENDA, this type of discrimination would be illegal, and these workers could bring discrimination claims against their employers.


Polls Show Huge Public Support for Gay and Transgender Workplace Protections (Center for American Progress)

John P. Aldrich
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