Wedding Businesses Should Be Allowed To Refuse Gay Marriage Services, Poll Finds

Gay marriage may now be accepted by a narrow majority of the country, but when it comes to forcing wedding businesses to offer services for same-sex couples, the answer is still no.

According to a new poll from the Associated Press-GfK, 57 percent of Americans believe that business owners, who specialize in wedding-related services, should be allowed to opt out of servicing gay weddings.

Over half of the country also believes that local officials and judges with religious objections to gay marriage should be exempt from “any requirement that they issue marriage licenses to gay and lesbian couples,” Huffington Post reports.

The country is pretty much in alignment with recent actions from the Mormon church. The organization has called on state lawmakers to make laws that both protect LGBT couples from discrimination while also upholding the rights of religious people.

In comments to the news site, a self-employed Michigan man and self-identified gay marriage supporter, David Kenney, had this to say.

“Why make an issue out of one florist when there are probably thousands of florists? The gay community wants people to understand their position, but at the same time, they don’t want to understand other people’s religious convictions. It’s a two-way street.”

Law firm manager Geri Rice agreed, begrudgingly, noting that when it came to refusing service to gay couples, “I don’t like it, but I think they have the right.”

Commenter Wynter Marie Starr heavily objected to the findings.

“I have yet to hear of a divorced person who is remarrying being denied services. Or any other people that the bible frowns upon for that matter, other than the LGBT community. For those that claim a deeply held belief as the excuse for not servicing members of the LGBT community, I say it’s a deeply held prejudice.

“If you don’t want to service the LGBT community, put up nice big signs detailing exactly who you will and will not service. As a straight ally, I want the choice to take my business elsewhere.”

The poll interviewed 1,045 adults and was conducted online from Jan. 29-Feb. 2. It used a sample drawn from GfK’s probability-based KnowledgePanel, which is designed to be representative of the U.S. population. The margin of sampling error for all respondents is plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.

Respondents were first selected randomly using phone or mail survey methods, and later interviewed online. People selected for KnowledgePanel, who didn’t otherwise have access to the internet, were provided access at no cost to them.

Do you think that gay marriage exemptions should be allowed to wedding businesses — or any, for that matter, if it’s based on religious differences?

[Image via ShutterStock]