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Tough sledding in the court of public opinion

The Supreme Court is expected to rule soon on whether a baker in Colorado should have been forced to make a cake for a same-sex marriage ceremony. While legal analysts think the high court could uphold the owner’s refusal on the basis of free speech, a recent survey by the Public Religion Research Institute shows supporters of traditional marriage are behind in the court of public opinion.

The 2017 American Values Atlas says that a majority of religious groups agree that gay and lesbian people should not be discriminated against in the form of service-based refusals, with only white evangelicals and Mormons supporting the idea.

The institute also said in its recent report that 61 percent of Americans support legal marriage for gay and lesbian couples, while only 30 percent are opposed.

“Much of this shift has occurred within the last five years,” it said in a report on its findings. “As recently as 2012, more than four in ten (42 percent) Americans opposed same-sex marriage, including about one in four (23 percent) who strongly opposed it.” 

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