SALT LAKE CITY — A new survey ranks Utah second highest in the nation in terms of support for non-discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people.
The survey, by the Public Religion Research Institute, had Utah tying with Vermont with 77% of people favoring protection for LGBTQ people in housing, jobs and public accommodations. Utah was behind New Hampshire, which had 81% of those in support.
Our neighbor to the east, Wyoming, had the least amount of support for LGBTQ non-discrimination with only 61% in favor.
In 2015, Utah passed historic non-discrimination laws that provided LGBTQ people protection in housing and employment. The bill came about with support from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, a powerful influence on the legislature. However, the Latter-day Saint Church has opposed a federal Equality Act.
Still, the LGBTQ rights group Equality Utah said it was thrilled with the survey.
“Yes, we have greater social acceptance of LGBTQ non-discrimination laws than the liberal enclaves of California, Colorado, New York or Oregon,” Equality Utah Executive Director Troy Williams wrote in an email to supporters. “Yes Utah, we are gushing with pride over you. We have created a space for people who have not shared our political views to move toward us. As a result, since 2015 we’ve been able to advance an inclusive Hate Crimes bill, overturn the discriminatory ‘No Promo Homo’ law and this fall, we will see conversion therapy at last be prohibited in this state.”