Ending employment discrimination
based on gender identity
Public opinion polls: 2001 to 2008
Support for employment protection based on gender
In 2009, The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Action Fund prepared a document titled: "Passing the
Employment Non-Discrimination Act: A toolkit." 1
The Task Force
formed a coalition with many lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) groups
in order to promote the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (2009). The groups
National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Action Fund, National Center for Transgender
Equality (NCTE), Pride at Work, the National Center for Lesbian Rights
(NCLR), Parents Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) and a
number of other colleague organizations.
Most of the following poll data come from the Task Force's toolkit
Unfortunately, no polling data appears to be available from states in the
deep South, where religious and social conservatives are plentiful and
support for an end to employment discrimination based on gender identity is
believed to be much lower.
Polling on transgender employment discrimination Issues:
2001: North Carolina: When 2,000 North Carolinians were asked whether
discrimination based on gender identity in public employment should be legal,
68 percent responded no, 16.4 percent responded yes, and 15.6 percent
responded not sure.
When the same question was asked about private employment, 61 percent responded no, 24 percent responded yes, and 15 percent responded not
sure. (The poll was conducted by the Lucas organization and released by Equality NC
2002: National: 61% of American adults believe that the country needs laws to
transgender people from discrimination (2002 poll conducted by Lake, Snell,
Perry, & Associates for the Human Rights Campaign).
2005: Washington state: 71% of voters across demographic
groups support ensuring equal rights for LGBT people, while only 22 percent
are opposed (2005; poll conducted by Decision Research, released by Equal
2005: New Jersey: In 2005, a Zogby poll indicated that 70% of
likely voters in New Jersey favored a state bill that would expand the state's law against
discrimination to include gender identity and expression, while only 19% opposed it (released by Garden State Equality).
2006: Ohio: 60% of Ohio registered voters believe that laws
should be passed banning discrimination in employment, housing and public
accommodations on both sexual orientation and gender identity or expression
(2006 Glengariff Poll commissioned by Equality Ohio Education Fund).
2007: National: 72% of American adults support employment protection for transgender persons (2007; poll conducted by
the Peter D. Hart Reseach Associates, released by Human Rights Campaign). Unfortunately, the question was highly biased in favor of support for transsexuals. Subjects were asked if they agreed with the statement: "Fairness is a basic American value and employment decisions should be based solely on qualifications and job performance, including for transgender people." This makes the result almost meaningless, in our opinion. 2
2007: Oregon: When likely voters were asked whether they support state nondiscrimination laws that include sexual orientation and gender identity, 62% responded that they favor the law, while 28% do not favor it,
and 10% were uncertain or didn't respond. (Poll released by
Basic Rights Oregon).
2007: Pennsylvania: 71% of Pennsylvania voters support
state legislation prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation and
gender identity in employment, housing and public accommodations. 86% responded that there should be workplace equality for LGBT people
(Poll conducted by Susquehanna Polling and Research, released by
Equality Advocates Pennsylvania).
2008: New York: 78% of New Yorkers support a statewide
bill that would provide protection against discrimination based on gender
identity or expression, while only 13% do not. (Poll conducted by
the Global Strategy Group andreleased by Empire State Pride Agenda).
References used in the above essay:
The following information sources
were used to prepare and update the above
essay. The hyperlinks are not necessarily still active today.
"Passing the Employment Non-Discrimination Act: A toolkit," National Gay and
Lesbian Task force Action Fund, Page 7, (2009), at:
http://www.thetaskforce.org/ This is a PDF file.
"Public opinion on workplace protections based on gender identity," Human Rights Campaign, undated, at: http://www.hrc.org/
The toolkit is copyright © 2009 by The National Gay and
Lesbian Task Force Action Fund. The Fund "... encourages, and grants
permission to, reproduce and distribute their guide
1 in whole or in part, provided that
it is done so with attribution."
Originally posted: 2009-AUG-08
Latest update: 2011-APR-21