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Poll Shows Support for Equality, Opposition to Discrimination

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.

Comments

  1. Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human. says

    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.

    Do you suppose we could convince the courts that giving churches a pretty-much automatic tax-exempt status conts as ‘receive government funding’?

  2. Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human. says

    er, ‘conts’ is actually ‘counts’. All Hail Tpyos!

  3. John Pieret says

    Do you suppose we could convince the courts that giving churches a pretty-much automatic tax-exempt status co[u]nts as ‘receive government funding’?

    Probably not. Not so much because it isn’t “government funding” but because it has been traditionally viewed as not meddling in religious matters. ‘The power to tax is the power to destroy’ type of argument. And to a certain extent, I tend to agree. If you choose to be a lay employee of a Catholic diocese. you kinda know what you are getting into. On the other hand, if you are a non-Catholic employee of a Catholic hospital receiving Medicare payments, you can rightfully have an expectation to be treated like everyone else in society. It is a fine line.

  4. D. C. Sessions says

    In the battle over equal treatment for same-sex couples, it’s all over but the shouting.

    And the longer and louder the shouting goes on, the better it will be.

  5. Pen says

    That’s fantastic. I just hope the US can perform a turnaround on women’s rights some time soon as well, because the situation seems to be really deteriorating. Strange that there should be this advance on one front and regression on the other.

  6. =8)-DX says

    75% of those under 30… that is the significant statistic. This shit just isn’t turning round.

  7. Doug Little says

    75% of those under 30… that is the significant statistic. This shit just isn’t turning round.

    psssssst dont tell the Fundies I’m enjoying them thinking that any day now public opinion is going to change if they just pray hard enough.

  8. D. C. Sessions says

    High percentages of those under 30 are all well and good, but only if the topic is a “wedge issue.” There’s nothing in evidence to suggest that equality is going to tip the voting behavior of this group even in the short term, much less 20 years from now.

    Just remember that the Boomers who are the power core of the Republican Party were once the generation of Hippies, the Age of Aquarius, etc.

  9. says

    There’s nothing in evidence to suggest that equality is going to tip the voting behavior of this group even in the short term, much less 20 years from now.

    Their voting behavior has already been tipped. Obama won this group by a roughly 2:1 margin in both his elections. If Republicans don’t figure out a way to stop alienating young people, they’re going to be screwed.

    Just remember that the Boomers who are the power core of the Republican Party were once the generation of Hippies, the Age of Aquarius, etc.

    There were never that many hippies, and boomers still lean Democratic. Their party affiliation hasn’t changed much in 25 years.

  10. says

    Given that people are against oppression, why don’t they demand their religious leaders accept the change? Instead I see a lot of people with good intentions letting the fears of religious oppression undermine their integrity. How many times will the Vatican be allowed to violate civil rights without recourse? We as nations bring great political pressure against Sudan when it’s religious practices are frowned upon, but when it is the Vatican a sovereign nation commits more monstrous actions our leaders turn a blind eye. I am hopeful that right-wing nuts and their attacks on female and gay rights, will alienate themselves to the point that people will treat them with as much dissent as the KKK. Unfortunately many of these are the same people who say I don’t discriminate against anyone living a good life, but when it is their religion leaders view then they demonize the oppressed people to allow them to discriminate without feeling guilty.

  11. matty1 says

    @11 I am not a fan of the RCC but I’m struggling to think what they have done while Obama has been in office that is more monstrous than sentencing a woman to death for having the wrong beliefs.

  12. gog says

    @matty1

    Obama didn’t sentence that woman to death, as I recall. It was a court in Sudan. Also the sentence has been overturned. Also the U.S. state department has pressured Sudan to allow her to leave with her husband (a U.S. citizen).

    I can’t quite understand what you’re talking about, but if I guessed right, then you need to explain why you think Obama is somehow responsible.

  13. StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return! says

    @ ^ democommie : .. Or the better angels (okay aspects) of human nature.

    Most of us can tell and appreciate fairness and feel compassion and empathy for others. I do think most people are mostly good. Or at least have the potential and tendency to be so. Maybe.

  14. hunter says

    Public opinion may have gone past the tipping point, but don’t think it’s all over but the shouting — public opinion still has to work its way into the legislatures and the courts.

    Yes, the courts have been finding consistently in favor of marriage equality since Windsor, but the Supreme Court has just handed the fundies a lollipop with Hobby Lobby, which says, among other things, that no only do corporations have the right to freedom of conscience (the idea that corporations have consciences is itself laughable), but belief trumps science. And the “me, too” contingent has already started to make itself heard: http://joemygod.blogspot.com/2014/07/hobby-lobby-fallout-religious-groups.html

    And let’s not forget the state-level “religious freedom” laws. Look for more of those to pass in the wake of Hobby Lobby.

  15. raven says

    Given that people are against oppression, why don’t they demand their religious leaders accept the change?

    Since when are religions democracies.

    The RCC and the Mormon church are dictatorships!!! They are top down, authoritarian mind control cults. The members exist to support the church, not the other way around.

    Protestants are different. Most, but by no means all, are bottom up organizations, The members own the church, run the church, choose the pastor, determine their salary, vote on everything. It was deliberarely set up to be the opposite of the RCC.

    What happens in Protestant churches, if you don’t like the sect, you move. Over half of all Protestants have moved at least once. With 42,000 different cults, you can find anything.

  16. matty1 says

    @15 I am talking about the claim made by Wes Aron that the Vatican is committing worse human rights abuses than the government of Sudan without getting the criticism that, as you point out, Sudan is getting.

    I mentioned Obama merely as a reference to indicate that I am discussing recent events not denying the atrocities of the inquisition.

    Let’s break it down.

    Claim 1 Sudan is committing human rights abuse.
    I accept this is a fact

    claim 2 Many governments including the US have condemned this.
    Again I accept this as a fact.

    Claim 3 The Vatican is committing worse human rights abuses.

    It is 3 I am skeptical about. I know the Church has done things as bad but they are not current and so could not be stopped by presume from any government now in office. I also know the church is doing things that are bad for human rights, particularly women’s rights but I doubt they are as bad or worse than what Sudan is doing.

  17. raven says

    @11 I am not a fan of the RCC but I’m struggling to think what they have done while Obama has been in office that is more monstrous than sentencing a woman to death for having the wrong beliefs.

    Being a pregnant female in a Cathoic country or Catholic hospital anywhere, can be and is sometimes a life ending event!!!

    They kill women all the time on the basis of flawed reasoning that a grade schooler could rip apart.

    The most notorious one was the Indian women with a dying, septic fetus that was forced to die in an Irish hospital. That fetus was terminal and had no chance. Standard medicine would have removed it to save the life of the mother. Catholic docs let it die and kill her instead.

    In the third world Catholic countries, a woman who needs an abortion to save her life, from ectopic pregnancies, underlying medical conditions, infections, or whatever is out of luck. They make them die instead.

  18. raven says

    @11 I am not a fan of the RCC but I’m struggling to think what they have done while Obama has been in office that is more monstrous than sentencing a woman to death for having the wrong beliefs.

    And why isn’t the RCC every bit as homicidal as the Moslems in the middle east?

    1. <bWe put them in a box on a short leash!!! It took a lot of brave humans about 1500 years to do it, an event called the Enlightenment.

    The RCC has a blood soaked history of crusades, sectarian wars, witch hunts, Inquisitions, heretic hunts and general oppression of women. The’ve killed tens of millions of people.

    It isn’t happening today because we took away their armies and heavy weapons. If the xians can, they are going to get them back.

    2. That hasn’t happened as much in the middle east. They try but Islam keeps getting out of the box.

  19. matty1 says

    Ok one more try
    What I was looking for is actions by the Catholic Church that.

    1: are worse than those of Sudan, and
    2: are taking place now, or recently enough we can criticise current governments for not condemning them.

    Death during pregnancy is a good answer that has me thinking. Events however bad that current government could not stop because they have already been stopped are not a good answer. Unless you believe in the Obama time machine

  20. dingojack says

    What, an ongoing cover-up of systematic, widespread child-abuse occurring from the distant past to the present day isn’t terrible enough and not current enough for you?
    Want evidence would satisfy your criteria exactly, ritual mass murder of thousands of women and babies on the steps of St Peter’s in front of the assembled world press perhaps?
    @@
    Dingo

  21. matty1 says

    Now *that* is an answer to my question and one that I’ll admit defeat on. I got carried away with trying to clarify when responses seemed to be about something else.

  22. Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human. says

    What I was looking for is actions by the Catholic Church that.

    1: are worse than those of Sudan, and
    2: are taking place now, or recently enough we can criticise current governments for not condemning them.

    Woman in Guatemala denied a therapeutic abortion of a dead foetus.

    Woman in Ireland denied a therapeutic abortion of a dead foetus.

    Just two of many, many, many cases worldwide.

    This is over an above the systemic enabling of child rapists. This is over an above the cover-up of murder and torture in the Magdalene Homes of Ireland. This is over and above genocide by proxy by preventing the distribution and use of condoms to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS.

    All recent/current/ongoing.

    And no, I am not going to argue that this is worse than or less worth than the human rights abuses currently ongoing in Syria and other troubled Islamic countries. This is not oppression olympics. If one person is being denied human rights, or being abused, that is too many.

  23. says

    To matty1: Thousands dead in Africa from the Vatican’s backed abstinence only change to the efforts to prevent the spread of AIDS and death. The program was working before the Vatican stepped in and took away and condemned condoms and birth control. Infants dying before they could ever have a chance at life, at a scale that is so inhuman, I couldn’t even begin to imagine how inhuman a person could be to ignore such atrocities. But apparently pope Benedict was capable of ignoring the suffering of Africa. After it became apparent that they were dying from this. Of course New Pope only said years later, “Maybe they were wrong by removing condoms from the AIDS ravaged country.” Maybe!! Ya think!

    The death of Savita in Ireland was due to the fact that Irish laws were not specific on what counts as saving the mother’s life legally, so the doctors could never have saved her life without risk of breaking the law, so they chose the side of caution because they didn’t want to go to prison with such a high profile case. In a related case a 13 year old girl went to a psych ward after threatening to kill herself if she didn’t get an abortion. The Ireland government eventually caved and she got her abortion months later. The English courts found in both cases that Ireland was liable for their failure to protect the mother, because of it’s poorly written laws that gave no determination on what constituted saving the life of the mother. All the Catholic church cared about is that they couldn’t leave the country to go elsewhere to get the abortion legally. The Catholic church at any point could have decided that Savita’s life or the girls mental state was more important than their anti-abortion agenda, and not surprisingly they were indifferent.

    As already pointed out over 50 years of hiding pedophiles to this very day. In the last case the Vatican fired the priests and never released their information to the authorities so that these monsters could hurt more children. Oh did I mention that they send the priests to camps to change them for the better, while failing to inform the authorities of their actions!! I shouldn’t forget to mention that the New Pope if he hadn’t become pope would have been brought to trial for his involvement in the shuffling of pedophiles. Convenient he is pope and now has diplomatic immunity.

    The Vatican is a separate country, yet not one government will hold them accountable for violating civil rights and their continued harboring of pedophiles. You cannot name one country that if found guilty of one of these offenses would not be facing serious injunction or war. They would be forced to change or suffer the consequences.

    To Raven: It doesn’t matter which religious authorities you choose, if the followers of these religions demand change and stop tithing until their demands are met , then they either change or lose all their power, because the money stops (Ireland under pressure from it’s people has put in injunctions no longer requiring Irish citizens to give tax to the Catholic church). The followers still have all the power, they just need to act, it really is that simple.

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