A Rasmussen poll finds that some 82% of voters feel religious freedom is important to the health of our nation.
The poll, released Tuesday, found that 67% of respondents believe it is “very important,” while just 9% disagree, and another 9% said they were not sure.
“This research affirms that the American people overwhelmingly support the continued protection of the Constitutional right of freedom of religion, and oppose policies requiring churches and faith-based charities and organizations to compromise their deeply-held religious beliefs,” Dr. Jeff Myers of Summit.org said in a statement. “Yet, leaders in Washington, D.C., are aggressively pushing forward on legislative measures such as the mislabeled Equality Act, which specifically strips away religious freedom protections. In an era of hyper-partisanship, freedom of religion retains broad, bi-partisan support among Democrats, Republicans, and Independents.”
The Equality Act passed the House in February, and now goes to the Senate.
The bill “defines and includes sex, sexual orientation, and gender identity among the prohibited categories of discrimination or segregation.”
It expands the definition of public accommodation to include venues that provide exhibitions, recreation, exercise, amusement, gatherings, or displays, goods, services, or programs, and transportation services, according to a summary of the bill.
The bill also prohibits a person from being denied access to a shared facility, such as a restroom, locker room, or dressing room, that is “in accordance with the individual's gender identity,” and allows the Department of Justice to intervene in federal court equal protection actions due to sexual orientation or gender identity.
According to the poll, 50% of respondents do not think churches and faith-based charities should have to hire people that oppose their religious beliefs.
Twenty percent of those surveyed said the institutions should be required to hire outside of their beliefs, and 30% said they were not sure, according to the poll.
Most Republicans (60%), and unaffiliated voters (54%) said organizations should not be required to hire outside of religious beliefs, while Democrats were more evenly divided on the question with 37% saying “no,” and 28% saying entities should hire people that do not agree with their religious beliefs.
The poll results were similar even between parties, with 74% of Republicans believing religious freedom as being “very important” compared to 60% of Democrats and 68% of unaffiliated voters.
The survey was conducted by Rasmussen and Summit.org between June 16-17 with 1,000 likely U.S. voters. The margin of error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence.
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