A huge majority of Americans regardless of their religious and political inclinations believe that same-sex marriage will be legalised throughout the United States when the Supreme Court issues its much anticipated ruling later this month.
According to a recent survey conducted by the Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI), 80 percent of those who support gay marriage believe the Supreme Court will give its consent to their cause while 47 percent of those who oppose gay marriage concede that the outcome will be in favour of the pros.
The PRRI also found out that 69 percent of the general public are willing to support non-discrimination laws, including a huge majority of all considered major religious denominations. Only 34 percent overall say business owners should be able to refuse service to LGBT clientele based on their religious beliefs.
As for exemptions for businesses on religious grounds, opinions vary. Among white members of the Evangelical Church, 51 percent agree with allowing small businesses to deny service to same-sex couples on religious ground.
Robert Jones, president and CEO of PRRI, said, "They want to support the principle of non-discrimination while carving out exemptions for themselves."
On the other hand, most non-white Christians oppose exemptions to non-discrimination laws. Jones said the idea of legal loopholes for refusing service may bring up "memories of past experience with segregated lunch counters and businesses refusing to serve them."
Other findings state that: age, beliefs, and politics create the gap between Americans, survey respondents support laws that protect the LGBT community, only a few approve permitting religious exemptions for small businesses, almost everyone knows someone who is among the LGBT people, and transgenders are prone to "a lot of discrimination.
Other key findings from PRRI include:
● Age, faith and politics divide Americans.
● Young adults, Democrats and most Christians, except white evangelicals, favour same-sexs marriage legally, while 37 percent are opposed. Only 29 percent of white evangelical Protestants and 35 percent of non-white Protestants support making same-sex marriage legal.
● Respondents support discrimination protections for LGBT people.
● Nearly 7 in 10 (69 percent) Americans, including majorities across the religious spectrum, favour laws that would protect LGBT people against discrimination in jobs, public accommodations and housing, compared with 25 percent who oppose such policies.
● Few approve of allowing religious exemptions for small businesses.