CHRISTIANITY DAILY

Americans Divided Over Wedding Service and Transgender Bathroom Issues, According to Recent Study

Gender Neutral Bathroom
(Photo : SmartSign/Flickr/CC)

A majority of Americans say employers, even if they have religious objections, should be required to provide contraception in employees’ health insurance plans, according to a recent survey.

A survey by the Pew Research Center, released on September 28, explored matters that have pitted religious liberty and non-discrimination policies, and found that while two-thirds of Americans say that employers should provide birth control as part of employees’ health insurance plans, Americans are more divided on whether businesses should be allowed to refuse service to same-sex couples on religious grounds and whether those who identify as transgender should be able to use bathrooms that align with their gender identity.

Two-thirds (67 percent) of Americans say employers should provide birth control to employees as a part of their health insurance plans. Correspondingly, 90 percent of Americans believe birth control to be either morally acceptable (36 percent) or not a moral issue at all (57 percent).

When it comes to businesses that provide wedding services, like flower shops and bakeries, 49 percent of Americans say businesses should be required to provide service to same-sex couples even if they have religious objections. An almost equal number (48 percent) say the opposite, that businesses should be able to refuse service on the grounds of religious objection.

Americans are almost equally divided on whether transgender people should be allowed to use bathrooms that correspond with their gender identity. Half of Americans (51 percent) say they should be allowed to use public restrooms while 46 percent say the opposite.

According to the survey, there is not much consensus on the morality of homosexuality as about one-in-five (17 percent) say it is morally acceptable, about half (45 percent) say it is not a moral issue at all, and over one-third (35 percent) say it is not morally wrong.

The survey found that there were differences in belief along religious lines. According to the survey, 77 percent of white evangelical protestants said that businesses should be able to refuse service to same-sex couples and 69 percent said that transgender people should be required to use the bathroom that corresponds with their biological gender.

“What doesn’t surprise me — but is I think the biggest news in terms of the value of the research — is the deep divide in this country is more basically theological than anything else,” the Rev. Albert Mohler, president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, said, according to Religion News Service.

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