Unity Michigan Explains Findings Consistent with State’s Commitment to Fairness
June 20, 2013– The Small Business Majority has released an opinion poll showing that a majority of small business owners support non-discrimination protections for gay and transgender workers.
Not only did small business owners support these protections against employment discrimination, but a majority believed that such laws already existed.
“It’s true, but not everyone knows: Here in Michigan, you can be legally fired from your job just for being gay or transgender,” said Jon Hoadley of the Unity Michigan coalition.
According to the poll, seven in 10 small businesses think businesses are hurt in their efforts to attract the best talent by discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
The poll, conducted April 8-17, 2013 by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research, found 54 percent of Michigan entrepreneurs believe federal law should prohibit employment discrimination against gay and transgender people, and 61 percent believe Michigan should have a law prohibiting this type of discrimination. A sweeping 76 percent didn’t realize it’s currently legal under federal law to fire or refuse to hire someone because they are gay, lesbian or transgender, and 73 percent were unaware it is legal in Michigan to refuse to hire someone based on sexual preference or gender identity.
The respondents were majority Republican, with 50 percent identifying as Republican, 27 percent as Democrat and 13 percent as independent or other.
“Poll after poll has shown that across the board, a majority of Michiganders support fairness and equality—including small business owners,” Hoadley said. “It’s time Michigan steps up to treat all workers fairly and equally.”
The Small Business Majority is a national nonprofit organization focused on solving the biggest problems facing America’s 28 million small businesses. www.smallbusinessmajority.org
The Unity Michigan Coalition works to ensure that all Michiganders are treated fairly by advancing non-discrimination policies. www.unitymichigan.org
The Unity Michigan Coalition includes the ACLU of Michigan, Affirmations, Equality Michigan, KICK, the Michigan Roundtable for Diversity and Inclusion, and the Ruth Ellis Center.