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Brief Published: 7 May 2020

Survey Reveals Mass US Support for LGBT Rights


There is broad support for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) rights across the States, with 72% of Americans favouring laws that protect these citizens against discrimination – according to a new poll by the US Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI).

  • The American LGBT Landscape: The report records significant growth in LGBT acceptance since same-sex marriage was legalised in 2015. In 2007, 36% of Americans supported same-sex marriage, rising to 53% in 2015 and reaching 62% in 2019, when the survey was conducted.
    It’s a trend that now sees 72% of Americans favouring laws that protect LGBT citizens against discrimination, including in the workplace and housing.
  • Demographic Divides: The American LGBT community is younger than the general population. Almost half (47%) are aged 18-29, while 32% are 30-49, 12% are 50-64, and 8% are 65+. This could be attributed to the growing acceptance of diverse sexual preferences.
    Notably, there is significantly increasing support from older consumers, too – this year’s survey marks the first time that seniors have expressed majority (51%) support for same-sex marriage. Look out for Accelerating Ageing Well, publishing on May 25, for initiatives supporting older LGBT consumers.
  • Supportive Opportunities: However, the survey shows one area of LGBT-rights erosion: the opposition to religion-based discrimination. In 2016, 61% of Americans said they would oppose allowing business owners to refuse service to members of the LGBT community owing to religious beliefs. This figure has consistently declined – to 60% in 2017, 57% in 2018, and 56% in 2019. Brands can counter this waning tolerance by celebrating differences in all forms in their products and marketing.

Brands have the opportunity to help boost acceptance and create safe spaces for members of the LGBT community. To learn how to achieve this with sensitivity and avoid rainbow-washing, see Brands Build with Pride 2019.