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New poll of Republican base shows support for gay rights
Nearly 80 percent of Republicans support employment non-discrimination protection for gays

by Scott Tucker

‘Republicans in Congress who will vote later this summer on the Employment Non-Discrimination Act should take these numbers to heart.’
— Log Cabin President
Patrick Sammon
WASHINGTON, D.C. — A groundbreaking new poll released by leading GOP pollster Tony Fabrizio shows that Republican voters support basic fairness for all Americans, regardless of sexual orientation. The poll found, among other things, strong Republican support for employment non-discrimination and allowing gays and lesbians to serve openly in the U.S. military.

“This poll shows very encouraging results. It validates what we’ve been saying for a long time,” says Log Cabin President Patrick Sammon. “Average Republicans are much more supportive of gay rights than some on the far right would like people to believe.

“What is most remarkable is that this is a poll of self-identified Republicans — not independents or Republican-leaning voters. This poll makes it clear that the much talked about ‘base’ of the GOP fundamentally believes in basic fairness for all Americans.”

Among the poll’s findings:

• In a remarkable show of unity on a bill that will come up for a vote in the U.S. House this summer, an overwhelming 77 percent of Republicans believe an employer should not have the right to fire an employee based solely on their sexual orientation. Even among social conservatives, 67 percent don’t believe an employer should be able to fire someone for being gay. “Republicans in Congress who will vote later this summer on the Employment Non-Discrimination Act should take these numbers to heart,” says Sammon. “Rank and file Republicans support this commonsense legislation.”

• 49 percent of Republicans believe gays and lesbians should be able to serve openly in the U.S. military, while 42 percent are opposed.

• 43 percent of Republicans support either marriage equality or civil unions. 51 percent oppose all relationship recognition. “There’s much more work to be done educating Republicans about this issue, but we’re encouraged that almost half of Republicans support basic fairness for gay and lesbian families,” said Sammon.

• 53 percent of respondents agree that “the Republican Party has spent too much time focusing on moral issues such as abortion and gay marriage and should instead be spending time focusing on economic issues such as taxes and government spending.”

• When asked “What issue do you think best defines the Republican Party today?” only five percent said “traditional marriage/family values.” 85 percent selected other issues, including the war on terrorism, immigration, homeland security, national defense, taxes and the economy.

The poll shows sharp disagreement on a range of social issues, however Republicans are united on some core priorities:

• 78 percent believe we should balance the federal budget;
• 66 percent believe the government is too big;
• 80 percent believe the federal government spends too much;
• 69 percent believe taxes are too high and only 1 percent believe they aren’t high enough.

The GOP also is united in its support for enforcing existing immigration laws and waging an aggressive war on terror. “Our party’s agenda should focus on the core principles that unite GOP voters,” Sammon says. “The politics of division is a recipe for defeat.”

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