Americans overwhelmingly favor religious liberty over gay rights

by Gregory Tomlin |

(REUTERS/Gary Cameron)The White House is illuminated in rainbow colors after the historic Supreme Court ruling legalizing gay marriage in Washington June 26, 2015. A new poll shows Americans, if forced to choose between gay rights and religious liberty, would choose religious liberty.

WASHINGTON (Christian Examiner) – If faced with a choice between gay rights and religious liberty, Americans overwhelmingly would choose religious liberty, according to a new poll reported in the Washington Examiner.

The newspaper reported Americans, asked to choose theoretically between the rights of a gay couple and Christian photographer who objects to photographing a gay wedding, chose 4-to-1 (82 percent) in favor of the photographer's right to decline the business of the gay couple.

The question was part of a survey conducted by Caddell and Associates, the polling firm founded by Pat Caddell, a former Carter administration staffer and now a FOX News contributor.

When asked whether it should be up to the federal government to determine what constitutes legitimate religious beliefs only 11 percent agreed and a massive 79 percent disagreed. Indeed, even two thirds of those on the 'left' of the segmentation disagreed.
- Pat Caddell

Caddell said in a memo provided to Washington Secrets, a political column in the newspaper, that 71 percent of Americans want the nation to produce "a commonsense solution that both protects religious freedom and gay and lesbian couples from discrimination."

"When asked which was more important, by a 4 to 1 ratio, voters said protecting religious liberty (31 percent) over protecting gay and lesbian rights (8 percent)," said Caddell.

Caddell said his polling dating illustrates both sides in the culture war desire a type of truce, where both gay rights and religious liberty are honored. Still, the paper noted the "potential for war" is high. An Obama official, it said, claimed during the oral arguments in Obergefell v. Hodges that the government could force those people with religious objections to same-sex marriage to "buckle under."

According to Caddell, Americans do not support that position:

"More than two thirds (68 percent) disagreed that the federal and state government should be able to require by law a private citizen to provide a service or their property for an event that is contrary to their religious beliefs. Only 18 percent agreed. Indeed, 51 percent strongly disagreed with this.

"When asked whether it should be up to the federal government to determine what constitutes legitimate religious beliefs only 11 percent agreed and a massive 79 percent disagreed. Indeed, even two thirds of those on the 'left' of the segmentation disagreed."

In July, Christian Examiner reported an Associate Press-GfK poll indicated a backlash against same-sex marriage in light of the Supreme Court's decision to legalize the practice nationwide was potentially under way. The majority of Americans, the poll said, favored robust religious protections for those opposed to gay marriage.