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Poll: Majority back presidential order against discrimination

Polling results released on March 28 show an overwhelming majority supports a presidential executive order banning federal contractors from discriminating based on sexual orientation or gender identity.

The poll found that 73 percent of likely voters favor an order. Support remains strong regardless of age, race, education, political ideology and other demographics.

“Americans recognize that discrimination is bad for business and they want our government to take action,” said HRC president Joe Solmonese. “An executive order is the best step we can take right now to ensure that what matters is how you do your job, not who you are.”

Likely voters were asked, “As you may know, under current federal law and in many states, gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people are not protected from discrimination in the work place. Would you support or oppose a policy that required companies that do business with the federal government to not discriminate against gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender people in employment?”

According to HRC, 73 percent said they supported the policy, 9 percent opposed the policy and 9 percent were unsure.

Liberals supported the executive order at 90 percent, moderates at 77 percent and conservatives at 60 percent.

Democrats supported the order at 86 percent, independents at 70 percent and Republicans at 61 percent.

There was no significant distinction by age group or by level of education (College educated likely voters support at 73 percent and non-college educated likely voters at 73 percent).

White likely voters supported the order at 72 percent with black voters at 80 percent and Hispanic voters at 72 percent. 

Broken down by religion, protestant support is at 68 percent, Catholic support at 77 percent and born again Christian support at 64 percent.

“It’s not often that an issue is supported by everyone from born again Christians to liberals to rural residents to Catholics,” said Solmonese. “It goes to show the tremendous popularity of this common-sense step.”

Under a standing Executive Order from the Johnson administration, government contractors are barred from discriminating on the basis of race, color, religion, sex or national origin.

HRC first proposed that the Obama administration add sexual orientation and gender identity to that list shortly after the election in November 2008.

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