Today, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization, released the following statement after Donald Trump, Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio suggested they would require their appointments to the Supreme Court pass a “religious liberty” litmus test.
New polling released by the nonpartisan Public Religion Research Institute last week involving more than 42,000 interviews in all 50 states found little support for so-called “religious refusal” bills that would allow a small business owner to deny service to LGBT people for religious reasons. Only 35 percent supported such a bill while 59 percent opposed. In fact, a majority of residents in the states of the three frontrunners -- Florida (70 percent opposed), Texas (67 percent opposed) and New York (77 percent opposed) -- oppose such a bill.
“Freedom of religion is a core American value, which exactly is why it is already protected by the First Amendment. Donald Trump and the rest of the candidates on the stage painted a troubling vision of the future where LGBT people all across the country are discriminated against and denied service at a business because of who they are or who they love,” said HRC Senior Vice President of Policy and Political Affairs JoDee Winterhof. “Everyone, including LGBT people, should be able to live free from fear of discrimination, which is exactly why the American people oppose these reckless, Mike Pence style bills.”
Even before tonight’s debate, frontrunners Ted Cruz Marco Rubio and Donald Trump have expressed support for the so-called “First Amendment Defense Act,” (FADA) which would enable more Kim Davis-like discrimination. An overwhelming 68 percent of Americans oppose such a bill, polling conducted by GQR for HRC has found.