Americans registered a five percentage point increase in support for "religiously-based service refusals by wedding businesses," according to a new poll by the Public Religion Research Institute and reported by Think Progress.
A poll conducted last year found that 41 percent of Americans believed a business owner who provides wedding services should be allowed to refuse services to same-sex couples "if it violates their religious beliefs."
This year, the same questions nets 46 percent support. Dividing up the findings between demographics revealed the same trend. Support for discriminatory wedding businesses rose among Republicans, Independents, and Democrats, as well as men and women.
Support from Republicans went from 67 to 73 percent; Independents, 40 to 45 percent; Democrats, 24 to 27 percent; men, 48 to 52 percent; and women, 35 to 40 percent. The groups most opposed to anti-LGBTQ discrimination are religiously unaffiliated Americans and, somewhat surprisingly, Catholics. Both groups objected to religious refusals by 58 percent.
Even with high-profile cases of businesses discriminating against same-sex couples — like the Masterpiece Cakeshop, a Colorado bakery (owner Jack Phillips, pictured above) that's right to discriminate was upheld by the Supreme Court on a technicality — Americans believe that anti-LGBTQ discrimination is waning. This year, only 55 percent of Americans believe LGBTQ people experience a lot of bias; that number stood at 68 percent five years ago.
The glimmer of good news is that a majority of Americans — 71 percent — believe there should be laws protecting LGBTQ people from discrimination in employment, housing, and public accommodations. No federal law bans such bigotry, but dozens of states and thousands of municipalities have enacted such legislation.