Nearly three in four Americans say that when a conflict arises between religious convictions and the need to treat everyone equally under the law, the law should prevail, according to new results from an ABC News/Washington Post poll out Tuesday.
And in the case of Kim Davis, the Kentucky county clerk who has refused to issue marriage licenses with her name affixed to them because of her opposition to same-sex marriage, more than six in 10 say she should be compelled to issue them.
Among those surveyed, 74 percent said that equality under the law should trump religious beliefs, while 19 percent said that one’s personal convictions are more important. Just 33 percent said that Davis should not be required to issue the licenses, compared with 63 percent who said that Davis should do so despite her religiously-based objections.
Davis returned to work on Monday, vowing not to interfere with the issuance of licenses by her deputy clerks but also refusing to authorize them with her name.
The results contrast with the findings of an Associated Press/GfK survey conducted in July, weeks after the Supreme Court ruled same-sex marriage bans unconstitutional. In that poll, 49 percent said that local officials should not be required to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples if they have religious objections, while 47 percent said they should be. In the same poll, 56 percent to 39 percent said it is more important for the government to protect religious liberties than gay rights.
Langer Research Associates conducted the ABC News/Washington Post poll from Sept. 7-10, surveying 1,003 adults nationwide via landlines and cellphones. The overall margin of error is plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.