Nearly half of Americans approve of businesses turning away LGBT+ couples for religious reasons

New research conducted this summer by the Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI) found that 46% of Americans think that wedding-related businesses should legally be allowed to refuse service to same-sex couples on the basis of religious belief. The survey was conducted close on the heels of the Supreme Court ruling in favor of Masterpiece Cakeshop, whose owner Jack Phillips had denied service to a same-sex couple.

Despite progress in marriage rights and social acceptance — 64% of Americans now support marriage equality, a significant increase from 55% in 2015—the survey results suggest a trend toward a theoretical “religious right to discriminate,” and away from LGBT+ rights.

“While support for same-sex marriage and broad rights for LGBT+ people continue to increase, opinions are less settled in specific areas such as religiously-based service refusals, especially in the context of wedding service providers,” said PRRI’s Robert P. Jones.

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