Majorities oppose licensed discrimination of LGBTQ community

A recent survey by the Public Religion Research Institute for its 2017 Atlas of American Values found that a 2-to-1 majority of American adults were against license-based discrimination for LGBTQ people.

The national survey, which included tens of thousands of people, found that 60 percent of respondents were opposed to allowing business owners to bar or refuse service to customers based on their LGBTQ status.

The survey described majorities in almost every state (except for Utah, North Dakota, and South Dakota), and in most religious denominations (except for White evangelical Protestants and Mormons).

According to Gabrielle Levy of U.S. News and World Report, the approving majorities include “65 percent of black Protestants, 60 percent of white mainline Protestants, 60 percent of Hispanic Catholics, 59 percent of white Catholics, 57 percent of Orthodox Christians and 55 percent of Hispanic Protestants.”

Additionally, majorities of non-Christian believers also opposed service-refusal: “86 percent of Unitarian Universalists, 73 percent of Buddhists, 70 percent of Jews, 59 percent of Muslims and 56 percent of Hindus.” The majorities include Democrats (76 percent) and Republicans (52 percent). Overall, anti-discrimination laws are favored by 70 percent of Americans, across all divides of race, party, or religion.

The ruling comes on the eve of a Supreme Court ruling regarding the legal status of a cake-baker, Jack Phillips. In July 2012, Masterpiece Cakeshop, a bakery in Lakewood, Colorado, refused to create a custom wedding cake for the wedding of Charlie Craig and David Mullins. Phillips, the owner, defended his decision on religious grounds.

Colorado’s Civil Rights Commission charged the owner with violation of an anti-discrimination ordinance. According to the survey, in the three years since the Obergefell decision, support for the legalization of same-sex marriage is at an all-time high of 61 percent.

The Supreme Court received oral arguments in December of last year. A ruling is expected by the end of the court’s term this summer.