by Travis Weber
August 5, 2015
A just-released poll shows very high support for religious freedom, especially in the context of that freedom being pitted against gay rights.
According to Caddell Associates, which conducted the poll, “[t]here is an overwhelming sense on the part of American voters that they want to find common ground in order to protect both the expression of religious freedom and the rights of gays and lesbians. What is clearly being signaled is an aversion to having an all out cultural war between these competing interests.”
While poll respondents broadly supported protecting the rights of all, “when asked which was more important, by a four to one ratio, voters said protecting religious liberty (31%) over protecting gay and lesbian rights (8%).” Notably, over half of the respondents (53%) said both were important.
Support for religious freedom jumps even further in the context of wedding vendors. 83% said “yes” when asked whether a Christian wedding photographer with “deeply held religious beliefs opposing same sex marriage” as “the right to say no” to a same-sex couple asking him or her to photography their wedding. Amazingly, even “80% of Agnostic/Atheists said the photographer had the right to say no.”
The polling also found that a majority believe “that the military has no right to regulate the religious actions of military chaplains. “
According to a report by the Washington Examiner, the poll shows that “Americans reacting to the Supreme Court’s approval of same sex marriage desire a truce between religious freedom and gay rights.” However, “if pushed,” they “overwhelmingly side with protecting the liberty of their faith by a margin of 4 to 1.”
It is clear that a broad swath of Americans are demanding that individual rights must be on the table of protections as we move ahead in a world of legalized same-sex marriage.