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White Evangelicals More Likely to Support LGBTQ Discrimination

Alexandre Bricio/PixaBay

About 39 percent of white evangelical Protestants oppose protecting LGBTQ people from discrimination. 

A new poll shows white evangelicals stand alone among religious groups in opposing civil rights protections for LGBTQ Americans.

More white evangelical Protestants oppose than support government restrictions on discrimination against people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender in workplaces, housing, or schools, according to a new poll conducted by the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research.

The poll shows 39 percent of white evangelicals oppose providing antidiscrimination protections to LGBTQ people, while just 33 percent support equality. Just 13 percent of other Americans oppose those protections.

Meanwhile, 60 percent of nonwhite Protestants support protections, as do 58 percent of Catholics.

The same survey showed far more white evangelicals say religious beliefs should be influencing U.S. public policy. They also tend to hold much more conservative beliefs across the political spectrum, the AP-NORC poll showed.

The poll found about 63 percent of white evangelicals believe religion should have "a lot" of or "some" influence over LGBTQ policy and 34 percent said it should only have "some" influence or "not at all." That's almost a complete flip from Americans as whole, only 33 percent of whom believe it should have significant influence on LGBTQ policy.

"There is nobody, except a few wackos who are one-half of 1 percent, that would ever want to discriminate against some of these groups," Stephen Strang, founder of the Christian magazine Charisma, told the Associated Press. "But what happens is, this legislation is criminalizing long-held beliefs that we believe are scriptural," Strang added, referring to conservative evangelicals' opposition to same-sex marriage.

The poll also found 79 percent of white evangelicals support President Donald Trump, who has rolled back numerous Obama-era protections for LGBTQ individuals.

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