Do Specific Policies Discriminate? Examining the Role of Ideology and LGBT Contact in LGBT Equality-Oriented Policy Support
Friday, November 4, 2016
Columbia Ballroom (Washington Hilton)
*Names in bold indicate Presenter
LGBT rights in the United States have increasingly become a part of public discourse, with issues relating to policies on employment discrimination, adoption, and marriage emphasized often. The disparate views relating to these issues have often created an intense and contentious environment around the debate regarding LGBT rights. It has been proposed that contact with LGBT individuals shifts perspectives toward policies that provide equal protection for members of the LGBT community. However, empirical results have been mixed. We suggest these findings are due to a combination of different ideological perspectives shaping reactions to contact as well as distinctive types of LGBT-oriented policies having a dissimilar valence to individuals, thus providing for inconsistent effects of contact on policy positions. We examine this hypothesis utilizing a recent national survey of 1,500 American adults, with our analyses indicating that, as expected, both ideology and the specific policy influence the effects of contact with LGBT individuals on policy support. Implications for LGBT rights-oriented policies are discussed.