The Supreme Court of the United States of America in December last year heard arguments in the Masterpiece Cakeshop vs. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, which involves the owner of a Denver-area bakery who refused to make a custom wedding cake for a gay couple, claiming doing so would violate his sincerely held religious convictions. His appeal of the state’s ruling that he was in violation of Colorado’s anti-discrimination law is set to be decided this term.
The controversial case sparked high interest from around the world with numerous organizations and now religious and Christian groups throwing their support against LGBT discrimination. The Public Religion Research Institute on Tuesday released the findings of its survey of tens of thousands of Americans for its 2017 Atlas of American Values in which it found nearly 2 to 1 opposition – 60 percent to 33 percent – to allowing business owners to deny service to customers based on gender orientation.
Majorities of nearly every major religious denomination, including most Christian groups, say business owners should not be allowed to discriminate against LGBT people. That majorities include 65 percent of black Protestants, 60 percent of white mainline Protestants, 60 percent of Hispanic Catholics, 59 percent of white Catholics, 57 percent of Orthodox Christians and 55 percent of Hispanic Protestants. Majorities of non-Christians also oppose allowing businesses to refuse service: 86 percent of Unitarian Universalists, 73 percent of Buddhists, 70 percent of Jews, 59 percent of Muslims and 56 percent of Hindus.
While White evangelicals Protestants and Mormons are the only major religious denominations in which majorities – 53 percent in each case – support allowing business owners to refuse service based on religious beliefs. It is obvious that the vast majority of Christian and religious groups aboard recognize the need for a peaceful and discrimination free society for all including LGBT persons.
Perhaps our African religious groups can learn from their foreign counterparts when it comes to speaking up against violations and discrimination based on sexual orientation. African religious society’s pride themselves with preaching the message of love and peace but they stand by while the African LGBT community lives in the shadow of fear and suffering. There is no act of love in watching people suffer, whether we all share the same beliefs or not, we are all human beings and each one of us deserves the right to peace and love. This is true religion, everything else is fake.