MARCH 4, 2015

Marriage and Freedom: Poll finds majority support for religious freedom and voter-approved definition of marriage

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PHOENIX – A new poll finds that more than 53 percent of Americans agree with Arizona’s voter-approved definition of marriage as only the union of one man and one woman. The poll also found that more than 8 in 10 Americans believe people who hold to this voter-approved definition of marriage should be free to follow these beliefs in their daily lives or in the way they run a business.

The poll comes as the U.S. Supreme Court prepares to hear oral arguments over whether voters have the freedom to set marriage law in their state.

WPA Opinion Research, who conducted the poll of 800 registered voters, also surveyed whether the Supreme Court should uphold the right of voters to define marriage. The poll found that 61 percent agree that “states and citizens should remain free to uphold marriage as the union of a man and a woman, and the Supreme Court shouldn’t force all 50 states to redefine marriage.”

“It’s clear that marriage matters to voters. Furthermore, the freedom of belief and the freedom to vote for a cause are of the utmost importance,” said Cathi Herrod, president of Center for Arizona Policy. “The Supreme Court should not silence the will of the voters. What’s more, the government should not penalize people for believing that marriage is between a man and a woman.”

Family Research Council and Center for Arizona Policy commissioned the survey. Along with the upcoming Supreme Court Decision on the definition of marriage, there have been a number of incidents of people of faith being fired or sued by the government for holding to their beliefs.
In Atlanta, the city’s Fire Chief Kelvin Cochran was fired for writing a devotional for his church on his personal time. The devotional professed a biblical view of sexuality. Despite an unparalleled record of achievement as the city’s fire chief, Atlanta’s mayor fired Cochran for his beliefs about marriage. Cochran is currently suing the city for discrimination.

In Washington state, florist Barronelle Stutzman has been sued by the Washington Attorney General and American Civil Liberties Union for declining to make a floral arrangement for a same-sex wedding. Stutzman had served members of the LGBT community for years, but believed she would be violating her religious convictions to make floral arrangements for a same-sex wedding, so she referred the gay couple to another florist in town.

“What should be simple matters of disagreement has turned into government coercion. Instead of respecting differences of opinion, the government is now being used to stifle differing beliefs,” said Herrod.

The poll was conducted February 2-4, 2015 and has a margin of error of +/-3.5 percent. You can access the breakdown here:

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