Poll Claims Most Americans Don’t Support Religious Liberty Rights for Christian Business Owners

(PHOTO: REUTERS/BRIAN SNYDER)
John Sullivan (L) and Chris McCary, both from Anniston, Alabama, walk away from the Provincetown, Massachusetts Town Hall with their marriage license May 17, 2004. They were the first in line to file for a license and were married later in the day. In November 2003 the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruled that Massachusetts must allow same-sex couples to marry beginning May 17, 2004.

The majority of Americans who identify as religious say they favor allowing gays and lesbians to legally marry and oppose policies that would give business owners the right to refuse services to same-sex wedding ceremonies, according to data compiled by the Public Religion Research Institute.

Last Friday, the Washington, D.C.-based polling firm released a new analysis drawn from interviews with 40,509 Americans throughout 2016 for PRRI’s American Values Atlas.

The data, which has an error margin of less than 1 percentage point, finds that the majority of only three religious demographics — white evangelical Protestants, Mormons and Jehovah’s Witnesses — said they oppose “allowing gays and lesbians to marry legally.”

While 58 percent of Americans said they support same-sex marriage, 61 percent of white evangelical Protestants, 55 percent of Mormons and 53 percent of Jehovah’s Witnesses signaled that they oppose the legalization of same-sex marriage, which happened in 2015 when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that states cannot ban same-sex marriage, making it legal nationwide.

By comparison, only 28 percent of white Mainline Protestants and white Catholics, 25 percent of Hispanic Catholics and 30 percent of Orthodox Christians said they oppose allowing gays and lesbians to legally marry.

Meanwhile, 63 percent of white Mainline Protestants and white Catholics, 62 percent of Hispanic Catholics and 59 percent of Orthodox Christians said they support gay marriage.

Jews were predominantly in favor of allowing gays and lesbians to marry, as 73 percent of Jewish respondents said they favor a right to same-sex marriage.

As 94 percent of Unitarian/Universalists, 85 percent of Buddhists, 78 percent of the religiously unaffiliated and 67 percent of Hindus said they favor allowing gays and lesbians to marry, certain religious demographics were a bit more divided in their responses.

The breakdown of African-American Protestants shows that they were evenly split with 45 percent who oppose and 45 percent who support same-sex marriage.

Hispanic Protestants are more likely to oppose a right to same sex marriage, as 46 percent of them said they oppose and 41 percent of said they favored the legalization of same-sex marriage.

Muslim respondents were also split, with 44 percent saying they favor the right for gays and lesbians to marry and 41 percent saying they oppose.

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SOURCE: The Christian Post
Samuel Smith