Survey Shows Support Growing for Allowing Businesses to Refuse Serving the LGBTQ

Surprisingly, researchers also found that same-sex marriages are now more widely accepted than ever before.

The United States Supreme Court inadvertently threw a ball into the court of the American public when it gave a favorable judgment to a certain Christian baker who steadfastly refused to bake cakes when he learned that his cakes will be used to cater to a gay wedding. The big question right now is whether Americans can now utilize religion to justify any sort of discrimination against the LGBTQ community. A brand new survey conducted by Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI) suggests that Americans are deeply divided over this particular issue.

About 46 percent of Americans surveyed hold the opinion that owners of wedding-centric businesses have every right to refuse same-sex clients if the actions violate their personal religious beliefs. This is a marked change from an identical period in 2017 when 53 percent of the U.S. public held the opinion that businesses must serve gay couples. Only 41 percent during that period held the view that shopkeepers must not be forced to serve same-sex couples.

PRRI completed this survey a short time after the Supreme Court took the decision in June on the case of Masterpiece Cakeshop vs. Colorado Civil Rights Commission. The agency discovered that Americans continued to be confused on the matter of conservative Christians having the right to refuse their service to gay customers. Approximately 2,000 adults were surveyed during the period starting June 27 to July 8 this year.

The shift towards the right was more among Hispanic and black Americans. Support by African-Americans went up from 36 percent (2017) to 45 percent this year. Among Hispanics, the support in 2018 was 34 percent from 26 percent in 2017. It should be kept in mind that other than weddings, African-Americans will generally side with queer couples on other matters. The numbers say it all: about 63 percent of blacks hold the opinion that small businesses must serve lesbian and gay couples.

White evangelical Protestants continue to remain the staunchest supporters when it comes to permitting wedding businesses and small for-profit organizations to discriminate against lesbian and gay clients. A staggering 70 percent of this religious demographic supports discriminatory practices. Surprisingly, researchers also found that same-sex marriages are now more widely accepted than ever before. Approximately 64 percent of United States residents support gay marriage in 2018, considerably more than 55 percent during the identical period in 2015.


Follow the Conversation on Twitter