US: Survey reveals that 68% of Ohio voters support discrimination protections for gay employees

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a pink background.

Amid debate around a US Senate bill that would extend discrimination protections to LGBT people in the workplace a survey has found overwhelming support for the measure among Ohio voters.

The survey conducted by Washington based, Public Religion Research Institute surveyed over 800 voters and found that 68% of those polled supported discrimination protections for gay and lesbian employees.

The survey found that apart from Tea Party voters the vast majority of Democrat, Republican and Independent voters supported the measure to protect gay people in the work place from discrimination.

Support for LGBT rights have steadily grown in the state of Ohio, back in 2004 voters moved to ban equal marriage with 62% supporting a ban. More recent polls have shown a considerable shift with the state now more divided on the issue.

In July a gay married couple from Maryland filed a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of Ohio’s statewide ban on equal marriage. One of the claimants who was terminally ill was seeking to have the relationship on the death certificate to show they were married, in the specific case the judge ruled in favour of the couple.

Consumer goods company Procter and Gamble last week joined a coalition of businesses backing a bipartisan effort of end workplace discrimination based on sexuality and gender identity.

The company is backing the Emloyment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), and has joined other Fortune 500 companies, as well as small businesses and politicians both Democratic and Republican in doing so

The US currently has very few states with anti-discrimination laws. Few states have a law which prohibits an employer from firing or refusing to hire someone because he or she is gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender.

ENDA would change that by adding sexual orientation and gender identity to federal workplace discrimination protection, including race, religion, gender and disability.