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


Protestors picketing the Masterpiece Cakeshop in Colorado. This fall, the Supreme Court will hear the case of a Colorado baker who refused to make a wedding cake for a same-sex couple based on his religious beliefs. Facebook photos

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
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