Poll: Paul Ryan loses votes if he opposes LGBT civil rights bill

The Wisconsin Gazette

A new poll announced by the Human Rights Campaign shows strong support for a comprehensive LGBT civil rights law in U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan’s district.

Earlier this summer, Democratic lawmakers in the House and Senate introduced the Equality Act, which would provide federal non-discrimination protections for LGBT people.

HRC’s JoDee Winterhof said on Aug. 20, “People across the country have embraced the very simple idea behind the Equality Act that everyone should live free from fear of discrimination and have a fair chance to earn a living and provide for their families, including gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people.

She added, “Congressman Ryan should join with the majority of voters in his district and support the Equality Act.”

Ryan, according to the HRC analysis, heads into 2016 with a lead against a generic Democrat in a hypothetical re-election. However, 11 percent of his current supporters said they would be less likely to vote for him if he opposes the Equality Act. And a 27 percent plurality of undecided voters said they would be more likely to oppose a candidate who did not support the Equality Act.

The poll also showed that Ryan is heading into the new election cycle with a lead but not 50 percent of the vote and his strong approval ratings don’t translate directly into votes.

Ryan represents Wisconsin’s First Congressional District, which stretches from the middle of Rock County along the southeastern part of the state all the way to Lake Michigan. The district fully encompasses Walworth, Kenosha and Racine Counties and it extends north to include communities in southern Waukesha and Milwaukee counties.

According to HRC, 31 states across the country lack fully inclusive non-discrimination protections. This means LGBT Americans are still be at risk in 31 states of being denied services for who they are or at risk being fired.

A record number of lawmakers, more than 200, agreed to sign on to the Equality Act as co-sponsors, including Wisconsin Democrats Gwen Moore, Mark Pocan and Tammy Baldwin.

The measure also has the support of some leading U.S. companies, including Amazon, American Airlines, Apple, Facebook, General Electric, General Mills, Google, HP, IBM, Intel Levi Strauss & Co,  Microsoft, Nike, Oracle and Orbitz.