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Thursday, 06 July 2017 22:04

Study: Are religious groups in favor of religious freedom laws?

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religious groups religious freedom


In recent years we have mentioned religious freedom laws that have been approved, and which continue to be voted throughout the United States, but are religious people in favor of these laws?

After the election of Donald Trump, it is hard to believe that the Americans are in favor of LGBT rights. We see some progress blocked or repealed in some states. Yet, through a first survey on marriage equality, we could see that there is still an increase in support during 2016 and within conservative parties. So today what about the religious "protections" laws?

A new survey, the 2016 American Values Atlas, reveals that members of religious people, by a large majority, are against these religious freedom laws.

Indeed, the Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI) found that members of religious groups do not favor laws that allow discrimination of LGBT people.

"For the first time in a PRRI poll of this size, no major religious group reports majority support for religiously based service refusals of gay and lesbian Americans," PRRI CEO Robert P. Jones said in a press release. "And most religious groups today support same-sex marriage. The religious groups in which majorities oppose same-sex marriage make up less than 20 percent of the public."

61% of respondents oppose discrimination against LGBT clients by companies based on religion.

If we look into the details there are:

  • 50% of Evangelical Protestants
  • 42% of Mormons
  • 34% of Hispanic Protestants
  • 25% of black Protestants
  • 25% of Jehovah's Witnesses

Also, questioned about marriage equality, we can see that they are much more in favor of the equal marriage than before. 58% in 2016 express support for marriage equality, compared with 53% in 2015.

Finally, this poll also studied their response to the discrimination of LGBT people. 58% of respondents are aware that LGBT people face significant discrimination and 62% know about discrimination against transgender people.

religious groups discrimination lgbt

It should be noted that this survey highlighted that Republicans were less aware of acts of discrimination against LGBT people unlike Democrats. 38% of Republicans and 75% of Democrats are aware of the discrimination faced by gay and bisexual people, while 44% of Republicans and 77% of Democrats are aware of discrimination against transgender people.

The poll shows that black Americans are more likely to perceive discrimination, which is understandable as they are also discriminated against.

The PRRI conducted this survey in 2016 with 40,000 people and across 50 states. You can see the full results on the official website of PRRI. An interactive map is also available if you want to focus on certain states.


Lezbelib is the online magazine that helps LGBTQ+ women to stay updated with entertaining blogs and breaking news about LGBT rights.