The Heritage Foundation

Market Research

July 8, 2015

The American Perceptions Initiative (API)— a project of The Heritage Foundation—conducts market research among adult Americans on a variety of issues and policy priorities to provide support for strategy and messaging. Market research is designed to explore the relevancy, credibility and support for the policies, concepts, messages and language used as well as the impact they have to create movement and action to support these policies and vision for America.

All of API’s market research is conducted in partnership with Vision Critical and Heart+Mind Strategies. Vision Critical is a well-respected research firm based on North America with research specialist that cover subjects including public opinion, health, technology, consumer goods, media and travel. They work with household brands, government bodies, not-for-profit organizations and the media to help them better understand their customers and stakeholders. Heart+Mind Strategies is an experienced and award winning consulting firm specializing in winning the hearts and minds of the people that matter most to their client’s success.

July 8, 2015 | Market Research on

Religious Liberty After Supreme Court Marriage Ruling

Strong Support for Prohibiting Government Discrimination Against Those Who Believe in Traditional Marriage

Recent research conducted under the American Perceptions Initiative found strong support for policies that would prohibit the government from discriminating against any individual or group based on their beliefs that marriage is the union of a man and woman or that sexual relations are reserved for marriage, specifically prohibiting the government from discriminating against such groups and individuals in tax policy, employment, licensing, accreditation, or contracting. Over half (56%) would support that policy, while a full third would strongly support it.

Voters More Likely to Respond Through Voting than Direct Contact or Social Media

When asked how they would be most likely to stand up for religious freedom, 65 percent of those surveyed said they would vote against a candidate who refuses to respect the freedom of those who believe in traditional marriage. Yet only 45 percent would call their elected representatives or post on social media about their support for respecting religious freedom of those who believe in marriage as the union of one man and one woman. This reticence to publicly comment should not be taken as evidence of voter apathy toward protecting religious liberty. Fear of consequences, such as harassment or being called a bigot, was the most commonly mentioned barrier to defending the right to religious freedom.

Top Messages In The Overall Debate

  • We all have differences, and every day we disagree with one another on some subject or another. But being able to still live peacefully with each other, despite those differences, is what true tolerance is about.—93% somewhat/strongly agree
  • While Americans are free to live as they choose, no one should demand that government coerce others into celebrating their relationship. All Americans should remain free to believe and act in the public square based on their beliefs about marriage without fear of government penalty.—85% somewhat/strongly agree

Source: Online survey using a national representative sample of 1,023 voters conducted June 2-8, 2015 with a margin of error of ±3.1%.

About the Author

Mark Schreiber Director, Strategic Marketing
Strategic Marketing

Elizabeth Fender Market Research Associate
Strategic Marketing