According to the poll, 42 percent support same-sex marriage and 40 percent oppose it. The percentage saying they favor legal same-sex marriage in their state was down slightly from the 48 percent who said so in an April poll. In January, 44 percent were in favor.
percent said they disapprove.
"What the Supreme Court did is jeopardize our religious freedoms," said Michael Boehm, 61, an industrial controls engineer from the Detroit area who describes himself as a conservative-leaning independent.
"You're going to see a conflict between civil law and people who want to live their lives according to their faiths," Boehm said.
Boehm was among 59 percent of the poll respondents who said wedding-related businesses with religious objections should be allowed to refuse service to gay and lesbian couples. That compares with 52 percent in April.
Also, 46 percent said businesses more generally should be allowed to refuse service to same-sex couples, while 51 percent said that should not be allowed.
The poll found pronounced differences in viewpoints depending on political affiliation.
For example, 65 percent of Democrats, but only 22 percent of Republicans favored allowing same-sex couples to legally marry in their state. And 72 percent of Republicans but just 31 percent of Democrats said local officials with religious objections should be exempt from issuing marriage licenses.
By a 64-32 margin, most Democrats said it's more important to protect gay rights than religious liberties when the two are in conflict. Republicans said the opposite, by 82-17.When the battle over the Religious Freedom Restoration Act erupted in Indiana this spring, I warned that there would eventually be a political pushback. Not only would religious folks be better organized next time, there are a lot more of them out there voting on their issues than those supporting LGBT rights. But I also knew that those supporting LGBT rights would eventually go too far and begin bullying and harassing people and businesses who did not share their views. While that might win some short term political battles, that's not a prescription for long-term success.
A perfect example is LGBT rights organization Freedom Indiana's approach in 2014 compared to 2015. In 2014, the organization put together a very positive outreach campaign in support of same sex marriage and against an amendment to Indiana's Constitution defining marriage as between a man and a woman. When the 2015 legislative session rolled around though Freedom Indiana's approach had changed dramatically. The organization waited until the last days of the Indiana General Assembly to ambush religious rights supporters over RFRA, a bill that had been introduced months earlier. In opposing the bill, Freedom Indiana scrapped its positive approach of a year earlier and engaged in a campaign of bullying and intimidation against those who dared support RFRA. Freedom Indiana enlisted its corporate allies to make threats against legislators and the Governor if they dared support the legislation. RFRA opponents engaged in a campaign of deceit and demagoguery with the disingenuous claim that the law was a "license to discriminate" against the LGBT community. The media dutifully reported this mantra even though there was not one instance in the 30 other states that have RFRAs or at the national level in which a RFRA overturned the application of an anti-discrimination law.
While RFRAs are irrelevant to the application of anti-discrimination laws, states and communities that have those anti-discrimination laws that include sexual orientation are being used by LGBT extremists to bully and threaten Christian owners of businesses who don't share their views. The most recent example of that is the Oregon bakery known as Sweet Cakes by Melissa. The owners of that business, Aaron and Melissa Klein, were cited for violating Oregon's anti-discrimination law and hit with a judgment of $135,000 in emotional damages for a lesbian couple supposedly suffered when the Kleins told them that they had religious objections to same sex weddings and felt baking a cake for the ceremony would violate those beliefs. Worse yet, the Oregon Labor Commissioner found that the Kleins, by speaking out publicly about their opposition to same sex marriage as well as talking about the case, violated Oregon's anti-discrimination advertising law. The Commissioner, who is an attorney but apparently slept through Constitutional Law 101, also imposed a gag order on the Kleins.
The bottom line is that those who support LGBT rights need to be concerned that the most extreme members of their movement will turn the public sharply against their agenda. To their credit, some in the LGBT community have argued that LGBT rights supporters should try to win converts through education and persuasion, instead employing threats and intimidation to those who don't share their view. Those LGBT moderates have discussed the need to be tolerant of those folks who don't share their view because of religious or other objections and that LGBT community should not support driving small business owners into bankruptcy because the owners don't support same sex marriage.
Unfortunately for the LGBT community, those more reasonable folks are not driving the LGBT political bus. The LGBT moderates better get control of the steering wheel soon because that bus is heading for a political cliff.