A recently released poll shows significant public support for the protection of religious liberty—especially when special rights based on sexual orientation are being advanced at its expense.
The results reveal hope for the classical liberal vision of America: they indicate that most Americans still appear to want maximum freedom and individual rights protection.
According to Caddell Associates, which conducted the poll, “[t]here is an overwhelming sense on the part of American voters that they want to find common ground in order to protect both the expression of religious freedom and the rights of gays and lesbians.”
Those that were polled overwhelmingly made clear that they believed that religious individuals’ rights must be protected.
While poll respondents broadly supported protecting the rights of all, “when asked which was more important, by a four to one ratio, voters said protecting religious liberty (31 percent) over protecting gay and lesbian rights (8 percent).”
Notably, over half of the respondents (53 percent) said both were important. At the same time, there appears to be a desire to avoid an “all out cultural war between these competing interests,” the pollsters reported.
As the Washington Examiner notes, the poll shows that “Americans reacting to the Supreme Court’s approval of same sex marriage desire a truce between religious freedom and gay rights.”
However, “if pushed,” they “overwhelmingly side with protecting the liberty of their faith by a margin of 4 to 1.” It is heartening that still so many would recognize the core importance of that inherent human right that is our first freedom: the freedom of religion.