As the Kim Davis saga continues to plod along in the courts, a poll released today reveals that a majority of Americans oppose religious exemptions for civil servants. The Associated Press reports:
Most Americans — 56 percent — now think government officials who issue marriage licenses should be required to issue them to gay and lesbian couples even if they have religious objections to do so, according to the new poll. Just 41 percent say there should be a religious exemption to that requirement. That’s a shift since an earlier AP-GfK poll conducted in July. Then, Americans were about evenly split, with 49 percent saying officials with religious objections should be exempt from issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples and 47 percent saying they should be required to issue them.
That shift was especially stark among Republicans. A majority of them —58 percent — still favor religious exemptions for officials issuing marriage licenses, but that’s down 14 points since 72 percent said so in July. That shift comes despite no equivalent change in Republicans’ opinions on same-sex marriage more generally. And a majority of moderate to liberal Republicans — 58 percent — now say there should be no exemption, after just 35 percent said so in July. Among conservative Republicans, 68 percent still say religious objectors should be allowed to abstain from issuing licenses to gays and lesbians. Among Democrats, 73 percent think there should be no religious exemption, a slight uptick since July when 67 percent said so.
The poll also reveals no post-Obergefell change in the support for marriage equality with 43% in favor and 39% opposed.