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Majority of Texas Voters Oppose LGBT Discrimination

PHOTO: A recent statewide survey found a strong majority of Texas voters believe discrimination against gay and transgender Texans is a problem. Photo credit: Magnus Manske/Wikimedia Commons.
PHOTO: A recent statewide survey found a strong majority of Texas voters believe discrimination against gay and transgender Texans is a problem. Photo credit: Magnus Manske/Wikimedia Commons.
May 21, 2015

AUSTIN, Texas - Nearly two-thirds of likely voters in Texas support protecting lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Texans from discrimination, according to a new poll commissioned by the organization Texas Wins.

Kevin Nix, communications director for Texas Wins, says while Texas lawmakers introduced a number of bills this session to allow discrimination against LGBT residents under the guise of religious liberty, poll results reveal a majority of Texans favor equality, regardless of political party.

"So many Texans value religious freedom, and it's extremely important to them," says Nix. "Seventy-nine percent of voters believe that this freedom does not give individuals license to hurt others."

Despite their personal commitment to religion, when asked about religious exemption laws generally, more than 52 percent of registered Texas voters polled were opposed to such laws. The survey also found a sizable majority reject the notion that gay marriage threatens religious freedom.

Nix says nearly 63 percent of Texas voters would support a law protecting LGBT individuals from discrimination, and a majority of Republicans surveyed support efforts to protect individuals from employment discrimination based on sexual orientation.

Nix adds that many Fortune 500 companies doing business in the state already are on board with non-discrimination policies, and other businesses have gone on record saying discrimination hurts the Texas "brand" as a beacon for business.

"Texans see a problem here with discrimination against gay and transgender Texans," he says. "They want it fixed."

Pollsters included a former senior advisor to John McCain's 2008 president campaign, and a former political director with the National Republican Congressional Committee.

Eric Galatas, Public News Service - TX