Most Americans say businesses must not deny Services

Anonymous survey graphic
New Harris Poll shows businesses should be inclusive on LGBT issues

A new national survey captures the feelings of a strong majority of Americans who believe that businesses should not be allowed to deny services to people based on their sexual orientation (81%) or gender identity (80%). In a comparable question, 75% of Americans believe that when a business opens their door to the public, they should be open to all and serve everyone on the same terms.

The results of The Harris Poll®, conducted in conjunction with Out & Equal Workplace Advocates may be found online.

The survey also reports that 89% Americans say they are very likely or somewhat likely to support or shop at a business that does not discriminate on sexual orientation or gender identity, along with race, ethnicity, national origin, sex, religion or disability. By the same overwhelming margin of 89%, Americans also say they are very likely or somewhat likely to work for a business that does not discriminate on all these characteristics.

“In our extensive experience, Americans are sincerely accepting and welcoming,” said Erin Uritus, CEO of Out & Equal Workplace Advocates. “These ingrained beliefs are mirrored by business leaders who understand that all forms of discrimination are toxic for the marketplace and workplace.”

Uritus added that the post-Masterpiece era today has emboldened corporations to strengthen their commitment to nondiscrimination. This past June, the U.S. Supreme Court narrowly ruled in favor of a Colorado baker who relied on his religious beliefs to refuse to prepare a wedding cake for a same-sex couple. “The tide is rising for acceptance globally and not just here in the U.S. That evidence is best shown by the many multinational brands and executives who join us at this year’s Summit.”

Many other findings were included in the 2018 Out & Equal Workplace Survey, released today. The study was conducted online between September 13-17, 2018 by The Harris Poll® in conjunction with Out & Equal Workplace Advocates among 2,006 U.S. adults, of whom 184 self-identified as LGBT.

These survey results were presented by John Gerzema, CEO of The Harris Poll. Gerzema is a pioneer in the use of data to identify social change and help leaders and organizations anticipate and adapt to new trends and demands. He appeared at a featured panel at the 2018 Out & Equal Workplace Summit in Seattle today. It is the world’s largest gathering of LGBT business leaders and professionals. They were joined by more than 300 Fortune 500 corporations and guests from over 32 nations.

“Despite America’s polarization during this charged election cycle, the Harris Poll reflects the truth that fundamental fairness matters deeply to most Americans” said John Gerzema of The Harris Poll. “The pace of change towards acceptance of LGBTQ equality continues to set high marks, and underscores why so many business leaders are outspoken champions for the community.”

The 2018 Out & Equal Workplace Summit concludes today in Seattle, Washington. For more information about the Summit, please visit
Out & Equal Workplace Advocates is the world’s premiere nonprofit organization dedicated to achieving LGBT workplace equality. Out & Equal hosts an annual Workplace Summit, where employees and experts from around the world gather. Harris Poll is one of the longest running surveys in the U.S. And Witeck Communications, Inc. is a leading strategic marketing communications firm, specializing in outreach, advocacy and engagement with LGBTQ communities.