Wednesday, May 02, 2018

Growing Support for Same-Sex Marriage; Opposition to Religious Based Refusals of Service

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As the Trump/Pence regime continues its anti-LGBT jihad to maintain the loyalty of evangelical Christians, the most important piece of Trump's and the GOP's base after perhaps white supremacists (evangelicals and white supremacists have a huge overlap of members), the rest of America is moving in a radically different direction as the findings of a new Public Religion Research Institute ("PRRI") survey underscore.  The survey focused on support for same sex marriage - 60% of Virginians support marriage equality - and opposition to religious based refusal to serve LGBT individuals, the latter being a key piece in the false meme of Christian persecution disseminated by anti-LGBT hate groups and, of course, the White House.  Obviously, one has to wonder why Trump and Republicans in general continue to court a political base that less and less reflects the majority of the country not to mention the views of younger generations which will soon have the potential to out vote the aging base of the GOP which is literally dying off.  Here are some highlights from the PRRI findings:
Since the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 2015 that same sex couples have a constitutional right to marry, support for same-sex marriage has increased substantially. Currently, more than six in ten (61%) Americans say gay and lesbian couples should be able to marry legally, while only about half as many (30%) are opposed.
Strength of support for same-sex marriage has increased dramatically over the past decade, while strength of opposition has fallen in nearly equal measure. Today, Americans who strongly favor same-sex marriage outnumber those who strongly oppose it by more than a two-to-one margin (30% vs. 14%).
Today a majority of all racial and ethnic groups favor allowing gay and lesbian couples to marry legally. Between 2013 and 2017, we have seen a double-digit increase in support for same-sex marriage among white (53% vs. 63%), black (41% vs. 52%), and Hispanic (51% vs. 61%) Americans.
Majorities of smaller racial and ethnic groups also support same-sex marriage today, including Asian-Pacific Islander Americans (72 percent), Native Americans (56 percent), and those identifying as multiracial or with another racial and ethnic group (66 percent).

Most religious groups in the U.S. now support same-sex marriage, including overwhelming majorities of Unitarians (97%), Buddhists (80%), the religiously unaffiliated (80%), Jewish Americans (77%), and Hindus (75%). Roughly two-thirds of white mainline Protestants (67%), white Catholics (66%), Orthodox Christians (66%), and Hispanic Catholics (65%) also favor same-sex marriage. A slim majority of Muslims (51%) favor same-sex marriage, but only 34% are opposed; . . .
Opposition to same-sex marriage is now confined to a few of the most conservative Christian religious traditions. Only about one-third (34%) of white evangelical Protestants support same-sex marriage today, while nearly six in ten (58%) are opposed, including 30% who are strongly opposed. And just 40% of Mormons support same-sex marriage, compared to 53% who are opposed.
The generational divide cuts through every demographic group in the U.S. Even in groups most opposed to same-sex marriage, a majority of young adults favor this policy. A majority (53%) of young white evangelical Protestants favor legalizing same-sex marriage, compared to just one-quarter (25%) of white evangelical seniors. A majority (52%) of young Mormons also believe same-sex marriage should be legal, while only about one-third (32%) of Mormon seniors agree.
Today, majorities in 44 states believe gay and lesbian couples should be allowed to legally marry, compared to only 30 states in 2014.9 In only six states does the issue of same-sex marriage garner less than majority support: Alabama (41%), Mississippi (42%), Tennessee (46%), West Virginia (48%), Louisiana (48%), and North Carolina (49%). But notably, only one state, Alabama, has a majority of residents who oppose same-sex marriage.
Religiously based refusals of service to gay and lesbian people are relatively unpopular among the American public. Six in ten (60%) Americans oppose allowing a small business owner in their state to refuse products or services to gay or lesbian people if providing them would violate their religious beliefs.
Black Americans are more likely than any other racial or ethnic group to oppose religiously based service refusals. Nearly two-thirds (66%) of black Americans oppose them, compared to roughly six in ten Hispanic (61%), Asian-Pacific Islander (60%), and white (58%) Americans.
Only two major religious groups believe small business owners in their state should be allowed to refuse service to gay or lesbian people on religious grounds—white evangelical Protestants and Mormons. Notably, they support this position at the same rate—53%.
A majority of Americans in nearly every state believe small business owners in their state should not be allowed to refuse service to gay and lesbian people. 
 Let's hope the United States Supreme Court is aware of these findings as it prepares to rule on the suit brought by a "Christian" baker who wants to be exempt from state public accommodation and non-discrimination laws.   On a different note, with my large Hindu client base, it was comforting to see that 75% of Hindus support same sex marriage.

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