PRRI finds most demographics have shifted in favor of religious freedom for small wedding business owners like Masterpiece Cakeshop’s Jack Phillips.
In the wake of Masterpiece Cakeshop’s victory at the US Supreme Court, a new survey finds that public support is increasing both for conservative wedding vendors like Colorado baker Jack Phillips and for same-sex weddings like the one he refused to serve.
A survey conducted by PRRI after the high court’s controversial ruling in June found that public support for same-sex marriage has never been higher, with 64% of Americans now approving of its legality. Yet PRRI also found that Americans are increasingly sympathetic to service refusals by bakers, caterers, florists and other small business owners with conservative religious beliefs.
PRRI found that 46 percent of Americans believe owners of wedding-related businesses should be allowed to refuse their services to same-sex couples based on their religious convictions, while 48 percent of Americans believe business owners should be compelled to provide their services to such couples with no conscience exemption from antidiscrimination laws.
This is a shift from 2017, when only 41 percent of Americans favored the rights of religious business owners in this scenario, while 53 percent favored the rights of same-sex couples. PRRI found that most demographic groups have moved more in favor of religious liberty protections on this issue.
Whose views have changed most: people of color.
While the views of white Americans have not changed year over year—49 percent approve of the religious right to refuse service—Americans of color are increasingly sympathetic to wedding vendors like Phillips. Nearly half of black Americans (45%) now support the religious freedom of business owners to refuse service to gay couples—a “significant change” from the 36 …
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