US: Scientific opinion poll finds small business owners don't support LGBT discrimination based on religious beliefs

A poll released today shows that small business owners believe they should not be able to refuse goods or services to LGBT individuals or to deny services related to a same-sex wedding based on an owner’s religious beliefs. Following the intense national debate surrounding Indiana’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act, the results show that small business owners oppose overly broad religious exemptions that could allow for anti-LGBT discrimination.

The poll found that two-thirds of small business owners say businesses should not be able to deny goods or services to someone who is LGBT based on the owner’s religious beliefs. When asked about wedding-related services, 55% say they do not believe a business owner should be allowed to deny services to a same-sex couple based on religious beliefs. In fact, 59% of small business owners who responded to the poll oppose laws allowing individuals, associations, or businesses to legally refuse service to anyone based on religious beliefs.

The survey responses crossed ideological and religious divides, with a plurality of small business owners—47%—who identified as Republican, 33% as Democrat, and 19% as independent. Survey participants reported varied faith traditions, as well, with 27% who regularly attend religious services. Read More