Three quarters of Americans believe sexual orientation should be a protected class

A majority of respondents also favored the Affordable Care Act and saw legalized marijuana as inevitable

Published April 17, 2015 2:16PM (EDT)

           (<a href="">Olga Besnard</a> / <a href=""></a>)
(Olga Besnard /

Nearly a full three-quarters of Americans believe sexual orientation should receive the same constitutional protections from discrimination as race, according to the results of a Bloomberg poll released on Friday.

The poll found that less than a fifth of Americans believe LGBT people should not be considered part of a "protected class," with 74 percent of respondents agreeing that sexual orientation should be guarded from the sort of discrimination condoned by so-called "religious freedom" laws in states such as Indiana. The survey also discovered that a majority of Americans favor continuation of the Affordable Care Act as law of the land, with or without modification.

Additionally, it seems Americans tend to view certain social and cultural changes as inevitabilities, in alignment with the view that certain (currently unprotected) classes should be shielded from discrimination. More than half of respondents said they believe same-sex marriage will be legal across the country within the next decade, although it was only a small minority -- just 7 percent -- that believed it would be enforced as the law of the land this summer, when the Supreme Court is set to decide on marriage equality.

The poll also asked participants for their views on marijuana legalization, which 58 percent of Americans believe will be legal within the next 20 years. Nearly a full third of respondents disagreed, saying they believe the drug will never be legalized across the country.

(h/t The Hill)

By Jenny Kutner

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