POLL: Almost 70% of Americans Believe Nationwide Marriage Equality Is Inevitable

By Sunnivie Brydum

Originally published on Advocate.com October 31 2013 4:57 PM ET

A new poll from Out and Equal Workplace Advocates reveals that 67 percent of American adults now believe nationwide marriage equality is inevitable, while nearly half (49%) of gay and lesbian adults would quit their job if they were relocated to a state that didn't embrace marriage equality. Last year, just 30 percent of gay and lesbian adults said they'd leave a job if transferred to a non–marriage equality state. And a full 79 percent of gay and lesbian adults said they would prefer a job with an employer in a state that allows them to marry their same-sex partner. 

The study, conducted by Harris Poll, also uncovered that if Congress were to pass and enact the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, at least one third (34%) of LGBT adults who are currently closeted at work would be comfortable coming out on the job. ENDA, which has been introduced in every Congress except one since 1994, would prohibit employers from firing, not hiring, or not promoting someone based on their actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity. 

While the survey underlines the broad national support for ENDA, it also supports earlier evidence that Americans are largely uninformed about the current state of employment law, since 76 percent of respondents thought it was already illegal on a federal level to fire someone for being gay or transgender. 

In addition to those who would quit a job if the company relocated to a state without marriage equality, an impressive 60 percent of gay and lesbian adults said they would consider turning down a promotion if the new job required them to move to a state without the freedom to marry. That's double the percentage who said they'd turn down a promotion last year when Out and Equal asked the same question of gay and lesbian adults. 

Out and Equal released the survey on Friday in advance of its annual Workplace Summit, which began Monday in Minneapolis. The summit, sponsored by roughly 100 corporations, attracted an estimated 2,000 participants from around the world, according to an Out and Equal press release. Speakers included trans advocate Janet Mock, Tabatha Coffey, and more. The summit concludes tonight with a gala dinner celebrating the successful gathering of employees, human resources professionals, employee resource groups, diversity managers, employers, and allies who took part in more than 100 workshops and panels designed to arm attendees with the tools to create an inclusive workplace.