New Survey Finds Shifts in Americans’ Views on Religiously Based Service Refusals for Same-Sex Wedding Celebrations

A new study released by PRRI finds the public divided over whether business owners should be allowed to refuse to provide wedding-related services to same-sex couples if it violates their religious beliefs. Forty-six percent of Americans say they should be allowed to refuse services, and 48 percent say they should be required to provide them. Only one year ago, 41 percent said business owners should be allowed to refuse wedding-related services to gay and lesbian couples and 53 percent said they should be required to provide them.

Black Americans have shifted the most in their views on this issue. Nearly half (45 percent) of black Americans say businesses should be allowed to refuse wedding-related services to gay and lesbian couples on religious grounds. That is a nine-point increase from August 2017, when just 36 percent agreed.

“While support for same-sex marriage and broad rights for LGBT people continue to increase, opinions are less settled in specific areas such as religiously based service refusals, especially in the context of wedding service providers,” said Robert P. JonesPRRI CEO. “Given the court’s narrow decision in the case involving the Colorado baker, the Supreme Court will likely have another say on this and other related issues, and Judge Kavanaugh, if confirmed, could end up being the deciding vote.”

Support for Same-Sex Marriage and the Supreme Court’s Obergefell Decision
Nearly two in three Americans (64 percent) now support same-sex marriage, and only 28 percent of Americans oppose allowing gay and lesbian couples to marry.

Same-sex marriage garners strong support among Democrats (80 percent) and independents (67 percent), but 44 percent of Republicans also favor the policy.

“The debate over same-sex marriage in the U.S. is quickly coming to an end,” said Dan Cox, PRRI Research Director. “The breadth of support for same-sex marriage is striking. Support has reached a tipping point among older Americans, and among young people it has become the consensus view.”

Other Notable Findings

  • Americans are more likely to believe the Trump Administration’s actions are hurting rather than helping LGBT people, women, and immigrants.
  • About seven in ten Americans favor broad nondiscrimination protections for LGBT people.
  • A majority of Americans see Trump unfavorably.

More information, including methodology, can be found here.


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