Sociology, Department of


Date of this Version



Stange, Mathew and Emily Kazyak. 2015. “Examining the Nuance in Public Opinion of Pro-LGB Policies in a "Red State." Sexuality Research & Social Policy. DOI: 10.1007/s13178-015-0213-x


Copyright © 2015 Springer Science+Business Media New York. Used by permission.


The red-blue state and urban–rural narratives— which depict that people living in red states and rural areas oppose pro-LGB policies—are popular frames for describing variation in public opinion of LGB policies by geographic re- gion. In a test case of a red state, we examine public opinion of pro-LGB policies to assess the accuracy of the red–blue and urban–rural narratives. Using data from a survey of Nebraskans (n = 1608), we found that public opinion was more nuanced than the red state narrative allows but that urban and rural respondents reported significantly different opinions of pro- LGB policies. Rural people, however, were not unsupportive of all pro-LGB policies. Among all Nebraskans, support was higher for policies to protect LGB people from housing and job discrimination while support was lower for marriage and adop- tion rights. We discuss what these findings mean for public policy, urban and rural LGB individuals, and future public opinion studies of LGB issues.