Most Americans Oppose Allowing Wedding Vendors to Deny Service to LGBT Couples on Religious Grounds

BY BTL STAFF

WASHINGTON -- Ahead of the landmark Supreme Court case Masterpiece Cakeshop, Ltd. v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, a new PRRI survey finds a majority (53 percent) of the public oppose allowing businesses that provide wedding services--such as catering, flowers, and wedding cakes--to refuse services to same-sex couples. Roughly four in ten (41 percent) favor allowing wedding-related businesses to refuse to serve same-sex couples on religious grounds.

The survey was conducted by PRRI, a nonpartisan research organization, among 2,024 adults between Aug. 2-8. The survey gauges attitudes on a number of issues impacting the LGBT community, such as non-discrimination laws, same-sex marriage, transgender military service, and religiously based refusals to serve same-sex couples--the crux of the upcoming Supreme Court case.

"While the same-sex marriage wedding services debate is often cast as a divide between religious and non-religious Americans, there is in fact only one major religious group in the country--white evangelical Protestants--in which a majority supports allowing wedding-related businesses to refuse service to same-sex couples on religious grounds," said PRRI CEO Robert P. Jones. "Notably, a majority of African American Protestants, who are divided on the question of same-sex marriage, oppose allowing these religiously based refusals to serve gay and lesbian people."

Nearly two-thirds (65 percent) of white evangelical Protestants and nearly half (49 percent) of white mainline Protestants believe businesses that provide wedding services should be allowed to refuse services to same-sex couples on religious grounds. A majority of white Catholics (55 percent), black Protestants (56 percent), members of non-Christian religious groups (64 percent), unaffiliated Americans (65 percent), and Hispanic Catholics (73 percent) believe that such businesses should provide the same services to same-sex couples as they would to anyone else.

Among the findings, support for same-sex marriage continues to rise among the general public. Nearly two-thirds (66 percent) of Americans favor allowing gay and lesbian couples to marry legally, while fewer than one-third (28 percent) oppose. Even a majority (55 percent) of seniors (age 65 or older) support the legality of same-sex marriage today.

Read the full report online at http://gaybe.am/pt.
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