Attitudes of American public on service denial to same-sex and interracial couples

December 20, 2017

The first national survey of public attitudes on allowing businesses to deny service to same-sex couples reveals that Americans who support service refusal do so regardless of whether the denial is for religious or nonreligious reasons. Presently, legislatures and courts are debating whether businesses can deny services to same-sex couples for reasons that are religious. This issue has reached the U.S. Supreme Court in the upcoming case of Masterpiece Cakeshop, Ltd. v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission. Proponents of service-refusal contend that requiring a business to provide services undermines religious freedom--and, for some businesses, artistic expression and freedom of speech. Opponents respond that service-refusal to sexual minorities discriminates in the same way as service-refusal to racial minorities did in past. Yet little is known about public views on this issue. Brian and Powell and colleagues conducted an online survey of 2,035 individuals. Respondents saw one vignette about a same-sex couple or an interracial couple wanting an independent photographer or a photography chain to take their wedding photos -- and being refused for religious or explicitly non-religious reasons. Over half (53%) of the respondents who got the gay vignette supported the right of refusal, with a much larger percentage supporting refusal if it was a self-employed photographer versus a chain, but whether the photographer cited religious or non-religious reasons did not matter. A notably high percentage (39%) also favored a right of refusal in the interracial couple vignette. The results suggest that support for service refusal extends to opinions beyond religious ones. Many of the respondents who supported the businesses' right to refuse services framed their support in terms of individual rights and libertarianism.
-end-
"Denial of service to same-sex and interracial couples: Evidence from a national survey experiment," by B. Powell; L. Schnabel; L. Apgar at Indiana University in Bloomington, IN.

American Association for the Advancement of Science

Related Religious Articles from Brightsurf:

Explaining the religious vote for Trump
New research by Louisiana State University sociologists indicate it wasn't Christian nationalism that drove churchgoers' Trump vote in 2016.

Shared religious experiences bring couples together
Couples that pray together stay together. It's a common religious saying, but a new study from the University of Georgia is giving the proverb some scientific credence.

Muslims, atheists more likely to face religious discrimination in US
A new study led by the University of Washington found that Muslims and atheists in the United States are more likely than those of Christian faiths to experience religious discrimination.

Religious believers think God values lives of out-group members more than they do
In a new paper, which will appear in print in an upcoming special issue of Social Psychological and Personality Science, Michael Pasek, Jeremy Ginges, and colleagues find that, across religious groups in Fiji and Israel, religious believers see God as encouraging people to treat others in a more universal, or equal, manner.

Kitsch religious souvenirs can rekindle pilgrimage experience
'Tacky and 'kitsch' religious souvenirs brought back from pilgrimage sites offer pilgrims and their friends and family who cannot make the journey a deeper religious connection.

Few people consider religious affiliation of hospital they choose
A small minority of Americans surveyed consider the religious affiliation of the hospitals that treat them, but a majority said they didn't want religious doctrine dictating their healthcare choices, according to a study by researchers at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus.

Developed countries may become more religious in 20 years
Researchers from HSE University and RANEPA found that in high-income countries, age, rather than the cohort effect, has more impact on religiosity.

AI systems shed light on root cause of religious conflict
Artificial intelligence can help us to better understand the causes of religious violence and to potentially control it, according to a new Oxford University collaboration.

Religious leaders' support may be key to modern contraception
Women in Nigeria whose clerics extol the benefits of family planning were significantly more likely to adopt modern contraceptive methods, new research suggests, highlighting the importance of engaging religious leaders to help increase the country's stubbornly low uptake of family planning services.

UC political scientist reveals surprising answers about religious freedom
Can political conservatives accept inclusive religious freedom rights when viewing similar issues from another perspective?

Read More: Religious News and Religious Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.