The Colorado Civil Rights Commission ordered Jack Phillips to bake cakes for same-sex weddings.
The Colorado Civil Rights Commission ordered Jack Phillips to bake cakes for same-sex weddings.

Pew Research released a survey of 4500 Americans that shows there is very little middle ground when it comes to nondiscrimination policies and their impact on religious liberty.

Here are some key takeaways:

  • The only area of consensus is over contraceptives. 67 percent of Americans believe that employers should have to provide coverage for contraceptives in their insurance plans regardless of their religious conviction. Only 30 percent believed employers should be allowed to refuse to include contraceptives in their insurance plans.
  • 49 percent of Americans believe that businesses that provide wedding services should have to provide the same services for a same-sex couple that they would for any other couple. 48 percent believe business owners should have the right to refuse service based on their religious convictions.
  • 51 percent of Americans believe that transgender people should be able to use the public restrooms of the gender with which they currently identify. 46 percent believe they should use the public restrooms of the gender they were born into.

Pew noted that relatively few people sympathized with both sides of an issue.

Before being asked to state which position is closest to their own, respondents were asked how much, if at all, they sympathize with the arguments on either side of an issue. (For full question wording, see topline.)

Relatively few took the opportunity to express at least some sympathy for both sides. For example, just over a third of U.S. adults sympathize only with those who say businesses that provide wedding services should be required to provide them to same-sex couples as they would to any other customers, and 31% sympathize only with those who say businesses should be able to refuse services to same-sex couples if the business owner has a religious objection. Just 18% say they have at least some sympathy for both sides, while an additional 15% sympathize with neither side.

Similarly, three-in-ten Americans sympathize only with those who say transgender people should be allowed to use public restrooms of the gender with which they identify, and a similar share sympathize only with those who say transgender people should be required to use public restrooms of the gender they were born into. Again, 18% say they can see where both sides are coming from.

The survey was conducted between August 12 and September 12, 2016 with 4,538 people. The survey was administered online and by mail among a nationally representative sample. You can see the methodology here.

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