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(POLL) Majority of NC Opposes RFRA Discrimination

Raleigh, N.C. — A new poll released on April 6, 2015, from NC-based Public Policy Polling (PPP), found that the majority of North Carolinians (56%) think business owners should not be allowed to refuse service to gay customers, compared to just 31 percent who think they should be able to.

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Democrats (18/75) are heavily opposed to business owners being able to discriminate, while Republicans (48/34) are more closely divided. Independents at 31/56 match the overall statewide numbers of majority opposition to such policies.

The N.C. General Assembly is currently considering two bills (SB550/HB348) that would allow this exact type of discrimination by the business community against gay North Carolinians. In the wake of backlash over similar bills in Indiana and Arkansas, Republican N.C. Gov. Pat McCrory and N.C. House Speaker Tim Moore (R-Cleveland) have joined a chorus of state leaders who are questioning the need for such legislation.

Equality NC, the state’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) advocacy organization, immediately responded to the poll with Executive Director Chris Sgro calling the results “a strong message to state legislators.”

"Businesses that are open to the public should be open to everyone on the same terms, including to customers who are gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender,” said Sgro. “This latest poll sends a strong message to state legislators that no one should have a license to discriminate against North Carolina's LGBT community.”

Many people are surprised to learn that North Carolina and 27 other states have no comprehensive nondiscrimination protections for gay and transgender people.

Sgro added, "Instead of focusing energy on discriminatory, distracting and potentially dangerous legislation, it is long past time our state's leaders updated North Carolina's laws to ensure that no one is denied housing, turned away from a business, or fired from a job simply because of who they are or who they love."

Equality NC has endorsed legislation proposed this session in both chambers (HB443/SB612) that would protect North Carolina’s LGBT workers from discrimination.

PPP surveyed 751 registered voters from April 2nd to 5th. The margin of error for the survey is +/-3.4%. 80% of interviews for the poll were conducted over the phone with 20% interviewed over the internet to reach respondents who don’t have landline telephones.

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