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Most Americans Actually Favor LGBTQ Workplace Protections

We are the workforce

A Marquette Law School survey finds the bulk of Americans are on the side of equality.

A new poll finds the vast majority of Americans want the Supreme Court to decide protections from discrimination should cover LGBTQ individuals.

The survey, published by Marquette Law School, gauged public opinion on an array of issues in front of the court.

Specifically, pollsters asked participants if the court should "decide that laws prohibiting employment discrimination on the basis of sex also apply to discrimination based on sexual orientation of gay, lesbian, or transgender individuals." About 61 percent of respondents said they would favor such a decision, with 39 percent strongly favoring.

The poll notably phrased the same question in a way more favorable to so-called religious freedom point of view. It asked how individuals would feel should the court "decide that a business owner's religious beliefs or free speech rights can justify refusing some services to gay people."

But results came out almost exactly the same. Some 57 percent of respondents opposed that statement, with 40 percent strongly opposing it.

The survey general found public confidence in the fairness and authority of the court, with 57 percent trusting the institution more than they do the presidency or Congress. As might be expected with the court's current makeup, which includes two justices appointed by President Donald Trump, there's greater trust in the court among Republicans than Democrats.

Results show an array of public opinion. Individuals nationwide seem to hold liberal views on banning assault-style rifles while generally favoring the right to own a gun. Most don't want to see Roe v.Wade overturned and put abortion access or privacy rights at risk. But there was general acceptance with the idea religious schools could accept publicly funded vouchers.

Outlets like Vox have already noted the results also may allay at least one concern brought up by a justice about what a pro-LGBTQ ruling could mean. Justice Neil Gorsuch asked at one point if the court should "take into consideration the massive social upheaval that would be entailed," but the majority of voters already favor protections.

Gorsuch also repeatedly signaled sympathy for the point of view discrimination should not occur based on sexual orientation or gender identity, making him a likely wild card in an upcoming ruling. The court is considering three cases involving workforce protection, two brought by gay plaintiffs and one by a trans woman.

The plaintiffs in all three cases argue that sex discrimination protections in Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 should cover LGBTQ people.

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