Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Monday 02 August |
Saint of the Day: St. Peter Julian Eymard
home iconNews
line break icon

Would Americans Trade Religious Freedom for Gay Rights? It Depends on the Poll


Mark Stricherz - published on 04/09/15 - updated on 06/08/17

Surveys show different results based on the wording of the question pollsters ask

A new poll found that most Americans believe that businesses should not be free to refuse to provide services to customers based on their religious views, according to MSNBC. The survey from Reuters and Ipsos suggested that Americans oppose a broad definition of religious liberty as it applies to businesses:

Fifty-four percent said it was wrong for businesses to refuse services, while 28 percent said they should have that right. And 55 percent said businesses should not have the right to refuse to hire certain people or groups based on the employer’s religious beliefs, while 27 percent said businesses should have the right.

The results of the poll contrasted with an earlier survey. The poll from Marist and Catholic News Agency in March found strong opposition to requiring individuals to violate their religious beliefs. Nearly two in three said they opposed “imposing penalties or fines for individuals who refuse to provide wedding-related services to same-sex couples …"

Why do the results from the polls differ? One reason may be the wording of the questions.

The Reuters/Ipsos poll did not ask if government should “punish” or “fine” businesses for refusing to serve customers. The Marist/Catholic News Agency poll asked respondents if they “strongly support, support, oppose, or strongly oppose imposing penalties or fines for individuals who refuse to provide wedding-related services to same-sex couples even if their refusal is based on their religious beliefs.”  In addition, the Marist/CNA poll referred to "individuals" rather than "businesses."

The survey from Reuters and Ipsos was conducted April 6 to 8 and had 892 respondents. Its margin of error is 3.7 percentage points.

HomosexualityPoliticsReligious Freedom
Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...

Top 10
Cerith Gardiner
Simone Biles leaves the Olympics with an important lesson for her...
Ignacio María Doñoro
Francisco Veneto
The military chaplain who pretended to be a criminal to rescue a ...
Cerith Gardiner
Gold-winning Filipina Olympian shares her Miraculous Medal for th...
Theresa Civantos Barber
The one thing we all should do before this summer ends
Zelda Caldwell
German women’s gymnastics teams modest dress protests sport’s ...
Violeta Tejera
Carlo Acutis’ first stained glass window in jeans and sneak...
Zelda Caldwell
World-record winning gymnast Simone Biles leans on her Catholic f...
See More
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.