Speed Reads


Majority of Americans back gays in 'religious freedom' battles, new poll finds

If given the choice between business owners with religious convictions and LGBT customers, 54 percent of Americans side with the gays and lesbians, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll released Thursday. Only 28 percent said business should have the right to refuse service. Similarly, 55 percent of respondents said business shouldn't be allowed to decline to hire somebody based on the owner's religious beliefs, versus 27 percent who said businesses should have that right.

Those numbers are not too surprising given that 52 percent of respondents in the online poll support allowing same-sex marriage, versus 32 percent who opposed the idea. And a plurality, 34 percent, said that the issue of gay marriage should be decided by the Supreme Court upholding it nationwide as a constitutional right, versus 22 percent who picked state voter referenda, 11 percent who favored state lawmakers, and 8 percent who wanted Congress to decide. The poll, in response to the "religious freedom" laws in Indiana and Arkasas, was conducted April 6-8 and has a confidence interval of ±3.7 percentage points.