A new study indicates religious Americans support same-sex marriage and oppose allowing business owners to discriminate against gay couples based on their religious beliefs.
The study, conducted by PRRI was culled from more than 40,000 interviews conducted throughout 2016. It found that, overall, 58% of Americans support the freedom to marry.
Among religious groups, the most supportive were Unitarian/Universalists (94%), Buddhists (85%), Jews (73%) and Hindus (67%). A majority of white mainline Protestants and Catholics supported marriage equality (both 63%), with Hispanic Catholics nearly the same (62%).
Only 44% of Muslims supported marriage equality, but that’s just one percentage point lower than the rate for black Protestants. (44% of Muslims oppose same-sex marriage, compared to 45% of black Protestants.)
Just three denominations in the survey presented a majority opposition to same-sex marriage: Mormons (37% favor, 55% oppose), white evangelical Protestants (31% favor, 61% oppose) and Jehovah’s Witnesses (25% favor, 53% oppose).
Combined, these groups comprise 19% of the U.S. population.
When it comes to allowing religiously based discrimination against LGBT Americans, six in ten Americans (61%) oppose it. That includes members of religious groups who are divided on the issue of marriage equality—like Muslims (60% of whom oppose religious freedom laws), black Protestants (66%) and Mormons (52%)—all of whom have been subject to institutionalized discrimination at some point.
The only group split on the issue are White evangelical Protestants, a full 50% of whom believe small businesses should be allowed to deny goods and services to LGBT customers, compared to 42% who oppose it.
Maybe they just have to experience what it’s like to be treated like a second-class citizen?