Most Americans now disagree that business owners should be forced to provide services to same-sex couples, despite them saying it is against their religion to do so.
The findings come in a survey published by the Newseum Institute, and represent a shift of opinion from two years ago when the majority, 52 percent, said they believed businesses should be required to forego their beliefs.
The interactive museum of news and journalism, located in Washington D.C., found that only 38 percent of Americans now feel businesses should be mandated to provide services to same-sex couples.
That is a percentage shift of 14 points from 2013.
When age is factored in to the findings, things are altered somewhat. A total of 61 percent of those aged 18-29, commonly termed as ‘millennials’, believe businesses should be required to provide service to same-sex couples. However, only 45 percent of 30-49 year-olds and 37 percent of those over 50 agree.
Analyzing the figures by political persuasion reveals that 57 percent of Democrats believe business owners should be required to serve same-sex couples, while just 22 percent of Republicans and 37 percent of Independents agree with the sentiment.
The findings come on the back of the landmark Supreme Court ruling on same-sex marriage, but also as several cases are being played out in lower courts where business owners have cited The First Amendment as a guarantee of their right to express freedom of religion by refusing services.
The most high profile cases have included bakers refusing to make gay wedding cakes, and photographers and florists declining to provide wedding services to gay couples.
As reported by the AP, the owners of a Portland, Oregon-area bakery that declined to make a wedding cake for a gay couple two years ago were ordered to pay $135,000 in damages last week.
Aaron and Melissa Klein, owners of Sweetcakes by Melissa have refused to back down, risking financial ruin, and telling the media that “This situation right here flies in the face of the Constitution at every level.”
Steve Watson is a London based writer and editor for Alex Jones’ Infowars.com, andPrisonplanet.com. He has a Masters Degree in International Relations from the School of Politics at The University of Nottingham, and a Bachelor Of Arts Degree in Literature and Creative Writing from Nottingham Trent University.