Americans, Even Religious Ones, Don’t Want Businesses to Refuse Service to Gays

Should businesses be able to refuse to serve LGBTQ people? It’s a concept that the religious right repeatedly brings us, arguing that it’s unfair to make people with strong “morals” interact with people of all sexual orientations.

However, make no mistake, the religious community is not of one mind on this issue. Not only do most Americans oppose allowing small business owners to deny service to gay people for religious objections by rate of 2:1 (60 percent vs. 33 percent,) most religious Americans don’t agree with that idea either.

The Public Religion Research Institute conducted a survey of 40,000 Americans throughout the country and found that pretty much every religious demographic didn’t think it should be legal for business owners to deny a transaction based on the customer’s sexuality. That includes:

  • Buddhists — 73 percent
  • Jews – 70 percent
  • Black Protestants – 65 percent
  • White Protestants – 60 percent
  • Muslims – 59 percent
  • Catholics – 59 percent
  • Hindus – 56 percent
  • Hispanic Protestants – 55 percent

The two exceptions are Mormons and white Evangelicals; in both groups, only 47 percent thought it would be wrong to refuse business based on religious convictions, so the majority here is slight.

Evidently, even the nation’s faithful don’t believe their religious rights are being infringed upon by having to sell things/provide service to a gay person. Those who shout that they shouldn’t have to do business with the LGBTQ community are probably just homophobic jerks looking to make the laws match their closed-mindedness.

Considering that Mormons and white Evangelicals make up about 20 percent of the country, it’s crazy to think that their wishes on this issue would supersede the civil rights of other Americans… unless the legislators pushing these kinds of bills are also just homophobic jerks at their core. (Seems like a safe bet.)

It’s bizarre how a sect of the population has propagated an argument where it’s religious people who are somehow being discriminated against because they do not have the right to discriminate against others. You don’t have to be gay or even “agree” with it (whatever that means,) but you can’t deny service to someone so long as you have a business that is otherwise open to the public.

In other good news, the poll also reflects that most religious categories also support same-sex marriage, with more than ever before. Sixty-one percent of Americans who consider themselves religious give their blessing to gay marriage, compared to just 30 percent who don’t. Again, it’s just the white Evangelicals (34 percent) and Mormons (40 percent) who are the holdouts, but even their numbers have increased since the last time this survey was conducted.

Next time the far right tries to mask its hate with cries of “religious freedom,” go ahead and ask, “Whose religion?” because most religious people don’t consider it a problem just acting like a decent human.

Photo credit: Thinkstock


Marie W
Marie W4 months ago


JoAnn Paris
JoAnn Paris7 months ago

Thank you for this very interesting article.

Sarah H
Sarah Hill9 months ago

It depends on what is wanted. If they want a birthday cake, a meal in a restaurant, something like that, yes I would serve them. But, if they wanted a wedding cake, flowers for the wedding, or catering then no I would refuse. I cannot participate in something that goes against what God teaches!

silja salonen
silja s9 months ago

ignorance and unkindness are a horrid recipe ..

Janis K
Janis K10 months ago

Thanks for sharing.

Leo C
Leo C10 months ago

Thank you for sharing!

DAVID fleming
Past Member 10 months ago


pam w
pam w10 months ago

"shouldn't HAVE TO do business with a gay person?" Why in HELL do these people imagine themselves to be ''blessed'' by a mystical being, just because they hate their fellow humans?

Janis K
Janis K10 months ago

Thanks for sharing.

John W
John W10 months ago