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USA Poll: Large Group of Marriage Equality Supporters Also Approve of Religious Exemptions

Thursday, February 5th, 2015

titleA new poll from Associated Press-GfK shows that the rise in marriage equality support comes with some caveats.

ABC News reports:

While finding that Americans narrowly favor allowing gay and lesbian couples to legally marry, a new Associated Press-GfK poll also shows most believe wedding-related businesses should be allowed to deny service to same-sex couples for religious reasons. Roughly half the country also thinks local officials and judges with religious objections ought to be exempt from any requirement that they issue marriage licenses to gay and lesbian couples, according to the poll…

About a quarter of those who favor legal same-sex marriage also favor religious exemptions for those who issue marriage licenses, the poll finds, and a third say wedding-related businesses should be allowed to refuse service.

I want someone to ask these people if they would still feel the same if the word “black” was substituted for the word “gay”. If so, although I’d find their position morally repugnant, at least it would be intellectually consistent. If not, the question would point out the lingering homophobia that still haunts our movement.

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USA, Mississippi: Businesses Post “We Don’t Discriminate” Signs

Sunday, April 13th, 2014

We Don't Discriminate signIn the wake of an anti-gay Right to Discriminate law, some businesses are posting anti discrimination signs. reports:

A new campaign launched by a group of entrepreneurs is taking off in Mississippi, the Clarion Ledger reports:

If You’re Buying, We’re Selling started in the commercial district of Jackson’s Fondren neighborhood last week, and has since spread statewide. The campaign is built around opposition to Senate Bill 2681, which proponents claim would only raise the burden government has to meet before denying someone’s right to practice their religious beliefs… Eddie Outlaw, who owns William Wallace Salon and Fondren Barber Shop, was part of the creative team behind If You’re Buying, with Mitchell Moore, who owns Campbell’s Bakery in Fondren.

“A lot of us were trying to counter the negative stuff from outside Mississippi,” Outlaw said, referring to the national coverage 2681 got while it circulated the Capitol. “We wanted to let people know – not just the LGBT community but the progressive community as a whole – that this doesn’t represent everybody here.”

It’s good to see businesses in the state standing up against officially sanctioned discrimination.

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USA: Businesses Want Clarification On Defense of Marriage Act Ruling

Thursday, August 29th, 2013

DOMA OverA new study has found that the US Supreme Court’s ruling on the Defense of Marriage Act left widespread confusion in the business community.

Pink News reports:

Two-thirds of US employers are in need of clarification and guidance on the impact of a Supreme Court ruling on the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) from earlier this year, a new study has found. The survey, conducted by the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans, asked employers following the Supreme Court ruling which struck down a key part of DOMA, potentially opening up 1,100 employee benefits to same-sex couples married in states which legally recognise equal marriage.

The study also showed that about a quarter of employers surveyed plan to extend benefits to all married same-sex couples, regardless of which state they live in. But another 40% are waiting for some kind of guidance before taking such a step.

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USA: New Poll Says 69% Think Business Shouldn’t Be Able to Refuse Services to Gays

Thursday, August 1st, 2013

titleA new poll from Third Way and HRC has some interesting findings. SDGLN reports:

  • 56% of Americans think that it is illegal for business owners in their state to refuse service to someone because he or she is gay—but 30% of all respondents were incorrect and in fact live in states where that discrimination is still legal.
  • 69% of Americans believe that government employees should NOT be able to refuse service to gay couples.
  • 69% of Americans believe that businesses should NOT be able to refuse service to a gay person.
  • 67% of Americans oppose a law that would allow businesses or organizations to deny services to gay and lesbian couples based on religious objections, and 64% would oppose a similar exemption limited only to small businesses providing wedding-related services.
  • 57% of Americans believe that a business providing services like flowers or food for a gay couple’s wedding is simply fulfilling a contract for services, not showing a public endorsement of that marriage.

So it looks like the American people are pretty strongly on our side on the issue of banning business discrimination against the LGBT community and gay and lesbian couples seeking to marry.

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USA: Rasmussen Says 85% Think Businesses Should Be Able To Turn Away Gays

Saturday, July 13th, 2013

titleIn a new Rasmussen poll, 85% think business owners should be able to turn away LGBT folks. Joe.My.God reports:

From the right-slanted Rasmussen: Americans draw a fine line when it comes to respecting each other’s rights. If a Christian wedding photographer who has deeply held religious beliefs opposing same-sex marriage is asked to work a same-sex wedding ceremony, 85% of American Adults believe he has the right to say no. A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that only eight percent (8%) disagree even as the courts are hearing such challenges.

As Joe notes, Rasmussen is a right-leaning organization. They also asked a series o other questions about whether bar owners should be able to refuse service to those 25 and under to avoid problems, if a bar owner could have a policy to attract women for happy hour, and so forth leading up to the gay questions. I think the answer would have been quite different if the question had been “should it be ok for a business to discriminate against gay clients”. What do you think? Here are the actual questions.

Washington, USA: GOP Pushes Bill To Allow Businesses to Discriminate Against Gays and Lesbians

Friday, April 26th, 2013

Washington State Sen. Sharon BrownIn the wake of a lawsuit against a Washington state florist refused to provide flowers for a gay couple’s wedding, the state GOP is pushing for a law to allow businesses to discriminate based on sexual orientation. Think Progress reports:

Republicans in Washington state have proposed a bill that would allow businesses to openly discriminate against people based on their sexual orientation if they want to do so because of their religious beliefs. SB 5927 carves out a specific exception to the state’s nondiscrimination law that says only federal protections — which don’t include sexual orientation — apply when a person’s religious belief is “burdened”: Nothing in this section may burden a person or religious organization’s freedom of religion including, but not limited to, the right of an individual or entity to deny services if providing those goods or services would be contrary to the individual’s or entity owner’s sincerely held religious beliefs, philosophical beliefs, or matters of conscience.

The discriminatory bill is being sponsored by State Sen. Sharon Brown, whose district includes the flower shop being sued for discrimination.

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