Third Way and the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), two Washington D.C.-based organizations who were heavily involved in crafting the strategy and messaging behind the recent surge in support for allowing gay couples to marry, have joined forces to tackle the movement’s next debate: overly broad religious exemptions to marriage and non-discrimination laws. Together with Anzalone Liszt Grove, Third Way and HRC fielded a national poll in June to identify where the country stood on marriage, non-discrimination laws, and religious liberty exemptions, including ones that would allow service providers like restaurant owners, florists, photographers, and wedding cake-bakers to turn away gay couples. The results, according to David Stacy, Deputy Legislative Director at the Human Rights Campaign, clearly demonstrate that “Americans believe our laws already adequately balance religious liberty and non-discrimination.” He continued, “As marriage spreads nationwide, Americans are opposed to passing broad exemptions to current law that would legalize discrimination against LGBT people.”
Noteworthy findings include:
Lanae Erickson Hatalsky, Director of the Social Policy & Politics Program at Third Way, explained, “Protecting religious liberty is an important American value, and voters in the middle believe we can respect it while also following laws which treat gay couples equally.” She observed, “It all comes down to the Golden Rule, treating others as we ourselves would want to be treated. Americans know it’s wrong to make laws that go against that principle.”
The Human Rights Campaign is America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality. By inspiring and engaging all Americans, HRC strives to end discrimination against LGBT citizens and realize a nation that achieves fundamental fairness and equality for all.
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