Despite a 2015 Supreme Court case that legalized gay marriage across the U.S., the theological and moral elements surrounding same-sex nuptials — and associated religious freedom concerns — continue to be an area of intense debate.
And a new polling analysis from PRRI provides some deep insights into where Americans stand on allowing gay couples to wed, with 58 percent saying they favor “allowing gay and lesbian couples to marry legally.” An additional 32 percent said they oppose the measure, with 10 percent either refusing to answer or saying they don’t know.
But the proportions get a bit more intriguing when researchers break down where religious people stand. And, according to the results, the group most likely to favor gay marriage are Unitarian/Universalists, with 94 percent supporting gay nuptials.
The three faith groups least likely to support gay nuptials were Jehovah’s Witnesses (25 percent), white evangelical Protestants (31 percent) and Mormons (37 percent). You can see the complete breakdown below, including Catholics, Hindus, Muslims, Jews and other religious cohorts:
The same survey, which was based on 40,509 interviews conducted throughout 2016, also asked respondents about whether businesses should be legally permitted to engage in service-based refusals if they feel providing certain products or services would in some way impede their faith.
PRRI asked, “Do you favor or oppose allowing a small business owner in your state to refuse to provide products or services to gay or lesbian people, if doing so violates their religious beliefs?”
While 30 percent of Americans favored such a scenario, 61 percent said they oppose it. Interestingly, white evangelical Protestants differed from every other faith group in that 50 percent said they support such exemptions; 42 percent do not. It should be noted, though, that this latter question is quite general.
Past polls specifically asking about exemptions for wedding vendors have come to starkly different results. In fact, a 2015 AP-GfK poll found that 57 percent of Americans would allow wedding-related businesses to deny services due to the business owners’ religious convictions. At the time, just 39 percent opposed that paradigm.
Read more about PRRI’s recent research here.
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