Majority of Americans Oppose Allowing Businesses to Discriminate on Religious Grounds

As anti-LGBT "religious freedom" bills continue to pop up in state legislatures around the country, data from a new poll shows that the lawmakers behind the "turn away the gays" bills aren't listening to their constituents. In fact, only 30 percent of those polled believe it is OK for businesses to refuse to provide products or services to LGBT people for religious reasons.

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The data was released by Washington D.C.-based polling firm PRRI, who surveyed 40,509 Americans throughout 2016 for their American Values Atlas.

Asked if they favored or opposed allowing small business owners in their state the right to refuse to provide products or services to gay or lesbian people, if doing so violated their religious beliefs, only 30 percent said they were OK with turning away the gay.

Sixty-one percent opposed discrimination masked as religious freedom. Nine percent didn't know or refused to answer.

The survey broke down the data by religious groups with Unitarian/Universalists showing the greatest amount of tolerance with 87 percent opposed to discrimination. Seventy-two percent of Jews and 76 percent of Hindus surveyed also opposed.

All in all, the minority of each religious group (which included Jehovah's Witnesses, White Mainline Protestants, White Catholics, Black Catholics, Black Protestants, Hispanic Protestants, Muslims and Mormons) polled favored discrimination.

White Evangelical Protestants turned out to be the group most in support of anti-LGBT discrimination with 50 percent favoring, 42 percent opposing and 8 percent not answering.

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