Most Christians don’t want ‘religious freedom’ laws to permit anti-gay discrimination

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A poll has found that the majority of Christians are opposed to “religious freedom” laws being used to permit discrimination against LGBT people.

A number of Republican states are currently pushing through ‘Indiana-style’ laws that allows religious businesses and individuals to discriminate against people on the ground of sexual orientation.

However, despite anti-LGBT activists often citing Christian businesses as beneficiaries of such laws, polling has found that Christians are actually opposed to them.

The Public Religion Research Institute found that 60% of Americans are opposed to laws that permit business owners to refuse to serve gay people on the grounds of religion, with just 34% in favour.

It notes that “majorities of most religious groups oppose these so-called ‘religious freedom’ laws” – with 63% of non-white Protestants, 64% of Catholics and 73% of unaffiliated Americans opposing such laws.

White evangelical Protestants (51%) are the only religious group with majority support for anti-gay law.

Meanwhile, anti-discrimination laws that provide protection to LGBT people have the backing of every major Christian group.

Researchers state: “There is broad support across partisan lines for laws that would protect LGBT people from discrimination… there is also a consensus across the religious spectrum.

“59% of non-white Protestants, 60% of white evangelical Protestants, 67% of white mainline Protestants, and 71% of Catholics favor nondiscrimination laws for LGBT people. Among religiously unaffiliated Americans, more than eight in ten (81%) support nondiscrimination laws.”