We have perhaps all seen the most vocal situations of businesses not wanting to serve LGBTQ folks. Most often, since individual states have been legalizing marriage equality, it is businesses that don’t want to provide services to same-sex couples for their wedding. A baker doesn’t want to bake a same-sex couple a wedding cake. A wedding/reception hall doesn’t allow a same-sex couple to book the venue for their wedding. Here in Washington State we have had a well-known instance where a florist has refused to provide flowers for the wedding of her longtime gay customers. And every time it seems that the argument has been about “religious liberty.” That forcing a Christian business owner, with a strongly held religious belief against same-sex marriage, to provide services to a same-sex couple, is a violation of the business owner’s Constitutional right to freedom of religion.
The conservative law firms that fight these cases often contend that their position is that which is held by the majority of US citizens. There are now scores of “religious liberty” bills being introduced in the various state legislatures to codify the religious liberty argument in state law. If passed, the laws would allow, for example, any business where the owner claims a firmly held religious belief against same-sex marriage, to legally discriminate against potential LGBTQ customers, by refusing to sell them goods & service for their weddings.
But guess what? Recent polling affirms that only one group of Christians actually supports laws legalizing discrimination against LGBTQ citizens. That group is white evangelical Protestants. By overwhelming majorities, most other religious groups oppose laws allowing businesses to refuse services to LGBTQ folks. See the chart above for the breakdown of the polling results by groups.
The chart and the survey are from PRRI.