A new poll by the First Amendment Center finds that a majority of Americans not only support marriage equality, they also support non-discrimination laws for businesses that provide marriage services and reject the idea that religious beliefs can justify such discrimination.
A solid majority of Americans now support equal treatment for same-sex couples despite religious objections, according to the State of the First Amendment survey released this week by the First Amendment Center.
Sixty-one percent of respondents agree that the government should require religiously affiliated groups that receive government funding to provide health-care benefits to same-sex partners of employees – even when the religious group opposes same-sex marriage.
And 54% of the public agree that a business providing wedding services to the public should be required to serve same-sex couples, even if the business owner objects to gay marriage on religious grounds.
These findings are consistent with the dramatic rise in public support for gay marriage – 59% in a recent ABC News/Washington Post survey (75% among those under 30)…
Of course, religious groups have a constitutional right to oppose gay marriage and to refuse to perform same-sex weddings. And as long as we uphold the First Amendment, that will continue to be the case.
But when religiously affiliated groups receive tax dollars to deliver social services or when wedding providers open their doors to serve the public, most Americans now believe gay couples should be treated just like everyone else.
In the battle over equal treatment for same-sex couples, it’s all over but the shouting.
And it has been for a while now.