Letter: Align laws with citizens’ support for LGBT rights

Although we have always known that fairness and equality for all are fundamental values for Louisiana families, there are those who would have us believe those values do not apply to our lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender brothers and sisters.

This year, Capital City Alliance, Louisiana Progress and Equality Louisiana commissioned three questions pertaining to the treatment of LGBT people in Louisiana to be included in the LSU Public Policy Research Lab’s Omnibus Phone Survey in order to put that myth to rest.

The results demonstrate in no uncertain terms the depths of Louisiana residents’ commitment to fair treatment for our LGBT friends and family:

  • 89.3 percent of Louisiana residents agree nobody should be fired from their job just because they are gay or transgender.
  • 93.7 percent of Louisiana residents believe nobody should be evicted from their home or denied housing because they are gay or transgender.
  • 89.5 percent of Louisiana residents believe schools should protect gay and transgender students from bullying and harassment.

This support persists across all sorts of traditional divisions:

  • On average, Republicans were only 5.4 percentage points less likely than Democrats to support their LGBT neighbors.
  • Black respondents were about 3.7 percentage points more likely than white respondents to have a pro-equality opinion.
  • Respondents in all regions of the state, including almost 90 percent of Baton Rouge residents, overwhelmingly favor equality.

I hope these amazing results serve as a reminder for you, as I know they do for me, of the best of our state’s spirit and values.

And as we enter the new year, I hope you’ll stand with Equality Louisiana and our local coalition members around the state in calling on our elected officials to align our laws and policies with the values we all hold dear.

Matthew Patterson

research and policy coordinator Equality Louisiana

Baton Rouge