Most Americans Oppose Business' Refusal of Service to LGBTQ Customers

US Supreme Court recently ruled that baker Jake Philips could refuse to make a wedding cake for a same-sex couple because of his religious beliefs did not violate Colorado’s anti-discrimination law.

In Reuters/Ipsos opinion poll released this month, 72 percent of respondents said business owners, because of their religious beliefs, should not be allowed to refuse to serve customers based on sexual orientation, while 14 percent said they do have that right. Another 9 percent said businesses have the right “only in certain circumstances” and 6 percent said they do not know. The Reuters/Ipsos survey collected responses online in English throughout the United States from 722 American adults.

It is not surprising that while a majority of Americans oppose religion-based refusal of service to LGBT customers, most white evangelicals support such measures. Actually, 51% of white evangelicals supported such refusals, as did 37% of all Christians, 32% of Catholics and 41% of Protestants also expressed support.

For white Evangelicals, views on service refusals vary depending on religion, as USA Today reports:

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When asked if they supported allowing small business owners in their state to refuse to provide products or services to LGBT individuals if doing so violates their religious beliefs:

  • Christian small business owners: 60% of white evangelicals vs. 43% of Christians overall
  • Jewish small business owners: 55% of white evangelicals vs. 41% of Christians
  • Muslim small business owners:  46% of white evangelicals vs. 36% of Christians
  • Mormon small business owners: 50% of white evangelicals vs. 38% of Christians

Their opposition:

  • Christian small business owners: 43% of Christians overall vs. 27% of white evangelicals
  • Jewish small business owners: 43% of Christians vs. 26% of white evangelicals
  • Muslim small business owners: 44 % of Christians vs. 32% of white evangelicals
  • Mormon small business owners: 44% of Christians vs. 30% of white evangelicals

The poll also found out that the number of Americans who support gay marriage has increased in recent years. Of all respondents, 53% said same-sex couples should be allowed to marry legally, with all the same rights as marriages between a man and a woman.

Photo Credits: American Civil Liberties Union

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