WASHINGTON—The Heritage Foundation today released new polling that shows likely voters’ support for the deceptively named “Respect for Marriage Act” is significantly lower than the media coverage indicates, particularly among conservatives.
Commissioned by On Message Inc., the poll was conducted among 2,000 likely voters in Indiana, Iowa, Utah, West Virginia, and Wyoming.
Respondents were asked whether they supported or opposed the Respect for Marriage Act and a 47% plurality of voters in these states opposed the bill, compared with just 41% who supported it. Right-leaning voters, in particular, are especially opposed to this unnecessary legislation, with 70% of Republicans and 73% of self-identified conservatives expressing opposition.
When made aware of the specifics of the legislation, however, Americans’ opposition grows substantially:
- When informed that the bill would encourage lawsuits against religious organizations for not participating in gay marriages, 53% of respondents said this would make them less likely to support the bill, including 46% who said it made them much less likely to support it. That number jumps to 69% among Republicans.
- When told that the act would punish faith-based organizations for their religious beliefs, including loss of non-profit status, 52% of respondents, and 70% of Republicans, said this would make them less likely to support the bill, including 44% who said it made them much less likely to support it.
- After learning that the bill would weaponize the IRS against nonprofits and faith-based organizations, 51% of respondents said this would make them less likely to support the bill, including 43% who said it made them much less likely to support it. That number jumps to 70% among Republicans.
Heritage Foundation President Kevin Roberts released the following statement on the new polling:
“The fight for religious liberty is one worth fighting. These poll results show what most of us, except some lawmakers on Capitol Hill, know intrinsically—the American people do not support weaponizing the power of the state against people of faith. These results show that Americans across the board have strong concerns about this unnecessary legislation that the Senate is trying to shove through during a lame-duck session, with the help of several Republican senators on their way out the door.
"Heritage and Heritage Action are putting such significant resources into this fight because the concept of freedom of religion and religious liberty are the foundation of our republic. They are what make us unique in the history of nations. We will continue to be a voice for the millions of Americans who oppose this legislation and stand for the principle that every American should be free to practice his religion without fear.”
See more information on the results here.
For more information about the deceptively titled “Respect for Marriage Act,” click here.