A new report finds that the American
workplace is increasingly supportive of gay, lesbian, bisexual and
transgender workers, finding that a majority support marriage-like
The 2008 Out & Equal Workplace
Survey conducted online by polling group Harris Interactive in
conjunction with Out & Equal, a group dedicated to ending gay &
lesbian discrimination in the workplace, and Witeck-Combs
Communications finds that a majority of workers agree that
performance, not sexual orientation or gender identity, should be the
basis on which to judge GLBT people and most support marriage-like
benefits for gays couples.
“It's encouraging that heterosexuals
appear more and more committed to ending these forms of employment
discrimination and to extending equal benefits to all employees,”
said Out & Equal Executive Director Selisse Berry in a prepared
The survey found that nearly eight out
of ten (79%) heterosexual adults strongly or somewhat agree that how
an employee does his or her job should be the standard for judging an
employee, not their sexual orientation. And, seven out ten (71%)
believe that also extends to gender identity.
Acceptance of marriage-like benefits
for gays and lesbians are also supported by the majority, the survey
Three-quarters (75%) of heterosexuals
surveyed agreed gay and lesbian employees should receive leave when
they lose a spouse/partner or close family member. More than
two-thirds (68%) agreed gays and lesbians should receive leave rights
for medical and family emergencies. And, a majority (64%) of
heterosexuals feel that gay and lesbian employees should receive
untaxed health benefits under federal law.
A strong majority (90%) of heterosexual
workers say they would feel indifferent or positively upon learning
that a co-worker is gay or lesbian.
Gays and lesbians, however, continue to
report workplace discrimination. A majority of gay adults (65%)
report they faced some sort of discrimination. Nearly half (47%) of
gays and lesbians say they have overheard anti-gay comments on the
job. And, more than one-third (36%) of gay adults claim they remain
closeted at work.