A recent survey of 400 adults in Utah shows one of the most conservative states in the country supporting broad legal protections for the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) community, leaving the public well ahead of politicians in the state. A huge majority support protecting gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people from discrimination in the workplace, by better than a 2:1 margin. Utah supports allowing gay and lesbian couples to enter into legal agreements that give them many of the same rights as marriage, and better than seven in ten residents support laws prohibiting bullying and harassment against minority groups in schools, including LGBT students or the children of LGBT parents.

Socially, 70 percent of Utah residents personally know someone who is gay or lesbian, the same number we saw in a recent national survey. And 42 percent describe themselves as growing “more accepting” of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people over the last five to ten years, 42 percent among Mormon residents. 

To be sure, there is still work to do in this state. Utah residents are in a far different place than the rest of the country when it comes to marriage. They are divided on allowing gay and lesbian couples to adopt children and a majority would be “bothered a great deal” if one of their children or grandchildren turned out to be gay. But in a state where conservatives outnumber liberals nearly 3:1, the overall results are a striking and substantial step toward equality. On many of these measures, what drives the response is not politics or even faith, but a recognition of a common humanity. 

Read the full memo and frequency questionnaire, or visit the Human Rights Campaign.

Key Findings

  • The LGBT community, here and elsewhere is “out of the closet” and achieving social equality.
  • Utah residents strongly support basic civil rights protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people and are well ahead of Utah politicians on this issue.
  • Utah is in a different place when it comes to marriage equality, but supports legal steps to recognize same-sex relationships.
  • There is still much work to do in this state.


This memorandum summarizes the results of a survey of 400 Utah adults taken between August 2 and 3, 2011. The survey was commissioned by theHuman Rights Campaignand executed by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research. It carries on margin of error of +/- 4.90 at a 95 percent confidence level.

Source: Greenberg Quinlan Rosner

Client: Human Rights Campaign