9.5M LGBT Adults in U.S. would be Protected under New Equality Bill

Public opinion polling indicates that 78% of Americans support federal protections from discrimination for LGBT people.

Posted by Melanie Nathan, July 23, 2015.

Screen Shot 2015-07-23 at 1.57.48 PM According to the Williams Institute, The Equality Act, introduced today in Congress, would ban discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity in employment, housing, public accommodations, education, credit, federal funding and jury service.

About 9.5 million adults in the U.S. identify as LGBT, according to Williams Institute Research Director Gary Gates. Discrimination against LGBT people has been well documented in a variety of sources.

  • In nine surveys conducted in the past 10 years, 19% to 78% of LGBT people reported experiencing discrimination or harassment based on their sexual orientation or gender identity at work.
  • Gay men earn 10 percent to 32 percent less than heterosexual men who have the same productive characteristics, such as experience and level of education.
  • About 83% of American adults report in recent polls that LGBT people face moderate to high levels of discrimination.
  • LGBT workers file complaints under employment non-discrimination laws at comparable rates to female employees and employees who are people of color.
  • Research has demonstrated that LGBT-supportive policies and workplace climates are linked to greater job commitment, improved workplace relationships, increased job satisfaction, and improved health outcomes in LGBT employees.


5 thoughts on “9.5M LGBT Adults in U.S. would be Protected under New Equality Bill

  1. Melanie,

    AND the laws would protect 320,000,000 heterosexuals from discrimination ALSO.

    Whenever I have friends who decry civil rights protections based on race, sex, color or point of national origin, I try very quickly to remind them, as a lawyer, that “Those protections protect YOU too. The idea that ‘only minorities’ have civil rights has repeatedly been over-ruled and ridiculed by courts.”

    A white, middle-aged man has as much right to protection from discrimination, as a young, black woman – it’s just that he does not have MORE rights than she does.

    Support for civil rights only occurs, when the people understand that the protections are for everyone against any bigotry.


    – Jim Wherry

    1. Actually one never knows – I think slim in this Congress – with Boehner and his crew of obstructionists – and the many of them all who think we should not exist at all…. But remember our LGBTI organizations do not have any fundraising tools with marriage won – so now they have awakened to this. When many of us asked for a full equality bill ( I started talking about this in 2007) – people like Chad Griffin from HRC said “I am not interested….” (to our face in 2013.) Other well known players in the marriage equality movement said we were nuts to suggest it – including Barney Frank. We had suggested it as far back when we had a majority in the House and Senate and a Dem President. But they only wanted to fight for marriage and did not even want to set full equality legislation as a benchmark. But now there is no more marriage to use to fundraise and so you will see them all come in on using an almost impossible congressional season to raise money over this bill. Howeve rI do think its important still to set this benchmark – even if its in preparation for a future Congress.

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