BY BTL STAFF
WASHINGTON – Amidst the constant media coverage of Kentucky clerk Kim Davis and her refusal to issue same-sex marriage licenses citing religious freedom, a recent poll conducted by the Human Rights Campaign shows that a majority of Americans do not support allowing government officials or public employees to discriminate against LGBT couples on religious grounds.
The survey was conducted in a period of four days in early September and consisted of 1,000 phone interviews. Survey results show that more than two-thirds are opposed to governmental employees denying service to LGBT people on the basis of their personal religious beliefs. A 60 percent majority of voters also said that they would be less likely to support a candidate for president who supported legislation that allowed for this behavior.
“The overwhelming majority of public officials across the country are issuing marriage licenses to all couples, including same-sex couples, because upholding the rule of law is the right thing to do. Now it’s clear that the American people agree, and will have no patience with public employees who want to use their private religious views as an excuse to deny equal treatment to LGBT people under the law,” said JoDee Winterhof, HRC senior vice president for policy and political affairs. “These results are a clear warning that members of Congress who want to move forward with so-called ‘religious liberty’ bills do so at their own peril.”
The survey found that a 60 percent majority of voters would be less likely to support a candidate for president who supported legislation that allowed for this behavior. A bipartisan 68 percent of those polled oppose allowing government employees the ability to deny service to LGBT people; however, 24 percent of respondents would support allowing government employees to cite their religious beliefs as a reason to deny service to LGBT people
While Republican candidates running for president have been split on the circumstances surrounding Davis’ refusal to do her job, many have been much more vocal in support of the so-called “First Amendment Defense Act,” which would allow government employees to cite religious objections and argues that they would not be required to serve same-sex couples.
Sixty percent of participants said they would be less likely to support a candidate for president who supported a bill that would allow government officials to refuse service to LGBT people based on their personal religious beliefs.