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Nearly 70 percent of Americans favor LGBT protections, but support has slipped since 2015

'There are fewer liberal Republicans today than there were in 2015'

Image source: PRRI 2018 American Value Atlas

Nearly 70 percent of Americans favor "broad nondiscrimination protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people," but overall support has slipped since 2015, according to the Public Religion Research Institute's new survey released Tuesday.

Republican support dipped by 5 points between 2015 and 2018, from 61 percent to 56 percent, according to the report.

Widespread support fell slightly from 71 percent to 69 percent, the survey showed.

"Notably, among Republicans, this drop in support has been concentrated among those who showed the highest support for LGBT protections just a few years ago," the American Values Atlas report said.

Only 48 percent of Republicans, 65 and older, support LGBT protections, and 42 percent are opposed, according to the report.

Younger Americans were more likely to favor nondiscrimination.

"There are fewer liberal Republicans today than there were in 2015 and fewer younger Republicans today than in 2015," PRRI CEO Robert Jones told NBC News. "They've moved into the independent category."

PRRI is a nonpartisan organization. The telephone poll's margin of error is 0.5 percent.

What about religious groups?

All major religious groups in the U.S. showed support for LGBT protection laws.

Unitarian Universalists showed the highest support at 90 percent, 4 points above New Age religions at 86 percent, the report said.

Jews and Hindus support LGBT protections at 80 percent and 79 percent, respectively, according to the report.

Of those surveyed, 59 percent of Orthodox Christians and 54 percent of white evangelical Christians said they favor such laws, the report said, but they also had the highest opposition at 33 percent and 38 percent, respectively.

At 53 percent, Jehovah's Witnesses were least likely to support protections, the survey said.

"Support among different religious traditions has remained relatively stable, with a few exceptions," the report said. "Support for laws protecting LGBT people from discrimination has declined from 2015 levels among Buddhists (84%), Orthodox Christians (75%), Muslims (68%), and Hispanic Protestants (67%)."

What about political affiliations?

Women from all political affiliations were more likely than men to support laws protecting LGBT people from discrimination, according to the survey.

Among Republicans, 60 percent of women favored those protections compared to 52 percent of men.

Among Democrats, 80 percent of women and 75 percent of men supported laws protecting LGBT people from discrimination, the survey said.

Among independents, 74 percent of women supported nondiscrimination laws compared to 67 percent of men.

What else?

Jones told NBC News that he believes the survey's results are significant.

"I still think that certainly in today's polarized climate, it's quite remarkable on any issue to be able to say there's bipartisan, cross-religious support on an issue, and much less one like an issue like LGBT rights, one that's historically controversial," Jones said.

Read the full report here.

One last thing…
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