Poll: Utahns more accepting of queers

A large majority of Utahns support laws protecting members of Utah’s queer community against bias in the workplace, housing and against bullying in schools, according to a recent poll released by the Human Rights Campaign.

According to the poll, 77 percent of Utahns, and 73 percent of Mormon Utahns, want laws protecting against discrimination in the workplace and housing. More than 70 percent of respondents said they supported laws protecting queer Utahns against bullying in the school system.

The poll indicated that about 70 percent of Utahns know someone who is openly gay but 55 percent of respondents said they would be bothered if their child or grandchild were to come out as queer. This is significantly higher than the national average of about 40 percent.

A recent national study conducted by the HRC showed a majority of Americans, 51 percent supported marriage equality for gay and lesbians, but in Utah 63 percent oppose marriage equality with just 30 percent supporting it. However, the survey found that 60 percent of Utahns support civil unions that grant gay and lesbian couples the same rights as their heterosexual counterparts.

The poll indicates a change in the climate for queer Utahns and found that 69 percent of straight male respondents and 77 percent of straight female respondents said they could be close friends with a gay member of their own gender.

“Utah remains one of the most conservative states in the country.  Nothing in this survey changes that reality.  However, the LGBT community here is no longer defined by eastern or Hollywood stereotypes, but by neighbors, co-workers and relatives,” the HRC said in a press release. “As Utah residents recognize the common humanity of LGBT people, they extend broad civil rights protections, including protection from employment discrimination and basic relationship recognition, to the LGBT community.”

The HRC commissioned the Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research to survey 400 Utah adults between Aug. 2 and 3. The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.9 percent.

Seth Bracken

Seth Bracken is the editor of QSaltLake

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One Comment

  1. Human Rights Campaign Inc. workers are again slanting its news releases. The Associated Press encourages the typical facts and format that poll-related news releases and reports should include. “ASSOCIATED PRESS: Information that should be in every story based on a poll includes the answers to these questions: […] 2) How many people were interviewed? […] 4) How was the poll conducted — by telephone or in people’s homes? 5) When was the poll taken? 6) Who paid for the poll? 7) What are the sampling error margins for the poll and for subgroups mentioned in the story? 8) What questions were asked and in what order?” Such information would better inform the reader. But, it might also show that HRC conducted an unreliable poll.

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