Poll: Gays want to avoid jobs in states that don't recognize same-sex marriage

Fri. October 25, 2013 9:17 AM by Wisconsin Gazette

Minneapolis, MN - Nearly half of gay and lesbian adults would consider changing jobs if their employer required them to transfer to a state where same-sex marriages were not recognized, according to a Harris poll released today and commissioned by Out & Equal Workplace Advocates.

About 60 percent of gay and lesbian adults also said they'd consider declining a job promotion if it required them to transfer to a state that doesn't recognize same-sex marriage.

And 79 percent of gay and lesbian adults, other factors being equal, would prefer a job with an employer in a state where same sex marriages are recognized over an employer in a state that does not recognize same sex marriages.

Last year, on the issue, 30 percent said they'd change employers.

The survey also found that 67 percent of Americans, regardless of their feelings of approval or disapproval, believe marriage equality is "inevitable everywhere in the U.S."

Out & Equal executive director Selisse Berry said, "Major corporations and employers that operate in states that don't yet recognize same-sex marriage will find it tougher to recruit and keep the best LGBT talent."

She continued, "Same-sex marriage recognition by the federal government is an historic breakthrough. It's now time to renew our efforts to pass a federal employment nondiscrimination law that is truly inclusive of sexual orientation and gender identity."

The survey also asked about workplace conditions. About a third of LGBT adults who are closeted at work said they would become comfortable coming out if the Employment Non-Discrimination Act passed Congress. The bill, which would ban workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, could come to a vote in the U.S. Senate this fall.

The survey also found that eight in 10 adults incorrectly think workplace discrimination against LGBT people already is a federal law.

The survey was conducted online by Harris Interactive in partnership with Witeck Communications and Out & Equal. The survey population consisted of 2,577 U.S. adults, of whom 2,150 indicated they are heterosexual and 371 identified as LGBT.

The survey was released as Out & Equal prepares for a workplace summit, which takes place Oct. 28-30 in Minneapolis. About 2,500 people from 30 countries are expected to attend.

Article provided in partnership with Wisconsin Gazette.