Pew Research Center released a poll on Wednesday that surveys American attitudes on religious freedom and “gender identity,” and the results were generally encouraging — 48 percent of Americans support the principles behind the First Amendment Defense Act (FADA), and 46 percent of Americans believe biological men do not belong in women’s bathrooms.
Given the left-leaning wording of the questions, the results become even more pronounced. Look at how the pro-religious freedom position is worded:
Businesses that provide wedding services should be… able to refuse to provide those services to same-sex couples if the business owner has religious objections to homosexuality. [Emphasis added]
That’s not an accurate description of the pro-religious freedom, pro-FADA position, which makes the fact that 48 percent of Americans support it even more impressive. A better, more ideal version would be:
People of faith who provide wedding services should be allowed to conscientiously object to participating in the facilitation of a wedding ceremony that violates their sincerely held religious beliefs.
Look at the language being used by Pew: “Businesses,” instead of people of faith; “refuse,” instead of allowed to conscientiously object; “religious objections to homosexuality,” instead of a wedding ceremony that violates an individual’s sincerely held religious beliefs.
This is by design, maybe not specifically by Pew, but certainly by wordsmiths on the totalitarian left. Words mean things. Pew’s wording places the sole emphasis on the business owner and essentially demonizes him or her, making it solely about him or her “refusing” services, rather than him or her being forced to violate a sincerely held religious belief.
And yet, despite the biased wording, 48 percent of Americans still supported the pro-religious freedom position. Wow. Someone should poll-test the better wording and see what happens.
The same goes for the transgender question. There is a reason the left-wing media insists on describing the transgender issue from the perspective of “bathrooms” — that appears to be the best way to find support for the idea of transgender rights. A large percentage of Americans simply don’t care about bathrooms.
But as I wrote yesterday, this fight isn’t actually about bathrooms:
…HB 2 is not just a “bathroom bill.” It is a brave attempt by North Carolina’s legislature and Governor Pat McCrory to fight against a far-left progressive effort to equate “gender identity,” a fictional concept with no basis in reality, with biological sex.
President Obama codified this asinine effort earlier this year with his edict to public schools across the country granting students the right to use the showers, changing rooms, and bathrooms corresponding to their “gender identity.” If schools fail to acquiesce to the government’s demands, they face a loss of federal funding.
In an effort to please the radical LGBT lobby, opponents to HB 2 are embracing complete gender fluidity, destroying any concept of maleness and femaleness. They are willing to put women and young girls in compromising positions and sacrifice the right to privacy, all in the name of ending “discrimination.” The logical conclusion of this effort would even eliminate the concept of women’s sports teams and female athletes.
But even when the question is asked about “bathrooms,” 46 percent of Americans still think men are men and women are women. I’d like to see a pollster ask the following:
Do you believe biological men who identify as female should be granted the legal right to enter public changing rooms and shower with young girls?
I imagine that’s a question on which more Americans will have a strong opinion.
Jon Schweppe is the Communications Director at American Principles Project.