Amid a national argument over gay marriage and religious liberties, a surprise Associated Press poll finds that the public isn’t as divided on whether the government can force business owners to violate their religious beliefs as it is on gay marriage. Asked whether “wedding related businesses” should be required to service same sex couples, voters said no, 52-45. Similarly, when there is a conflict (between gay rights and religious liberties), voters chose religious liberties by a 56-40 margin.
To avoid any confusion, it should be noted that voters also resoundingly rejected discrimination against gays with non wedding related services. Asked about other religious objections, only 40 percent of voters said that services should be denied to gay couples.
The poll also showed a large enthusiasm gap between on the question of whether gay rights were “important.” Only 27 percent labeled them “extremely” or “very” important while 47 percent labeled them “not very” or “not at all” important. The gap was similar for religious liberty, with 50 percent labeling them “very important” while only 28 percent labeled them slightly or not at all.
The poll, which also showed a statistically even 50-48 split in favor of a Supreme Court gay marriage ruling, can be read in it’s entirety here.