Poll: 74% back proposed LGBTQ anti-discrimination law, including most Republicans

    Nan Palmero, Flickr

    A poll conducted this month shows that roughly three out of four likely Michigan voters support new legislation that would ban discrimination against LGBTQ individuals.

    Sen. Jeremy Moss holds up a copy of his LGBTQ non-discrimination legislation at Affirmations in Ferndale, June 3, 2019 | Derek Robertson

    The poll, conducted by the Chicago-based Glengariff Group just days before that legislation was introduced, found that 74% of those asked would either “strongly” or “somewhat” support “legislation that would expand [Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act] protections in Michigan to make it illegal to fire someone or deny them housing because they are gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender.”

    That includes about 70% of those who identify as “Lean GOP,” and almost 60% of those who identify as “Strong GOP.” The Democratic leaders who announced legislation to amend the state’s Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act to include such protections stated last week that they hope to obtain significant buy-in from their Republican counterparts.

    Spokespersons for both Republican caucus leaders told the Advance last week that their positions against bringing the legislation up for a vote remain unchanged. But that may increasingly put them at odds with an electorate that has steadily liberalized on LGBTQ issues since the passage of a now-defunct 2004 Michigan amendment that banned same-sex marriage.

    Whitmer, LGBTQ caucus make big push to win GOP support for Elliott-Larsen bill

    “When we really started looking at Elliott-Larsen in 2009, that’s when we really noticed that independents had come on board in a big way,” said Glengariff pollster Richard Czuba in a separate conversation with the Advance last week.

    “Increasingly … Republicans support Elliott-Larsen’s passage,” Czuba said. “It is this very narrow band of what I would call older, white, Republican primary voters who have a disproportionate say in the conversation of stopping Elliott-Larsen’s expansion.”

    Michigan Capitol | Susan J. Demas

    The sample for Czuba’s new poll was comprised of 43% Democrats, 36% Republicans, and roughly 20% who identified as independent or “other.” 56% of the respondents were 50 years old or older.

    Even among that group of voters, which is traditionally more socially conservative, almost 71% of those ages 50 to 64 said they would support expanding Elliott-Larsen, and 67% of those over the age of 65 said the same.

    Similar majorities overall said they would support a ballot proposal to amend the act should the legislation fail, with almost 77% in favor and 17% opposed.

    Derek Robertson
    Derek Robertson covers local government, education, health care and the social safety net, and LGBTQ issues. Previously, he wrote for Politico Magazine in Washington, and before that covered local politics in Chicago. He is a Genesee County native and graduate of both Wayne State University, where he studied history, and the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University. He enjoys film, the Detroit Pistons and his cat. He once competed in the National Spelling Bee, but was eliminated before any potential ESPN appearances.

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