Constituents of the 12 Republican senators who voted to advance Democrats’ wrongly named Respect for Marriage Act strongly oppose the legislation because they know it poses a risk to the First Amendment rights of religious Americans, a new poll from the Heritage Foundation found.
Different polling in October claimed that voters in “key battleground” states including Alaska, Indiana, Iowa, Missouri, North Carolina, Utah, Wisconsin, West Virginia, and Wyoming were more likely to vote for senators who pledged to vote for the legislation.
Heritage’s November poll, however, found that 47 percent, a plurality, of voters represented by Sens. Todd Young of Indiana, Joni Ernst of Iowa, Mitt Romney of Utah, Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia, and Cynthia Lummis of Wyoming strongly oppose the legislation.
Under this bill, religious organizations and business owners who do not submit to the government’s attempts to dictate Americans’ theology will be subject to legal scrutiny, endless lawsuits, and fines. Young, Ernst, Romney, Moore Capito, Lummis, and their seven other Republican colleagues who voted for the objectionable legislation were warned of its problems by legal scholars, legislators, and religious liberty groups including Ryan T. Anderson, Roger Severino, Rep. Chip Roy, Sen. Mike Lee, Alliance Defending Freedom, and Liberty Counsel. Regardless of those warnings, the GOP senators voted to proceed.
That decision specifically doesn’t sit well with the 70 percent of GOP voters and 73 percent of the conservative constituents in those states who say they object to the bill, which would embolden LGBT activists who regularly exploit the legal system to target religious Americans such as Colorado cake artist Jack Phillips, Washington florist Barronelle Stutzman, and Colorado graphic designer Lorie Smith.
Opposition to the so-called Respect for Marriage Act, Heritage reported, “only solidified” after pollsters informed voters that it would unleash a barrage of lawsuits against religious Americans who refuse to perform or participate in same-sex weddings or affirm those marriages.
“In fact, for every message tested in this survey, a majority of respondents said they were less likely to support the bill given the information,” Heritage reported.
When voters learned that religious organizations and for-profit businesses that are owned and operated by people with traditional beliefs about marriage would come under fire for those beliefs, dissent for the bill rose to 53 percent among all voters.
Similarly, when respondents were informed that this bill would make religious adoption agencies susceptible to losing their nonprofit status, opposition to the legislation measured at 52 percent.
Approximately 51 percent of respondents, 70 percent of Republicans, said they were unlikely to support the legislation after they learned it “could weaponize the IRS against faith-based organizations, including religious schools, by threatening their nonprofit status for not recognizing same-sex marriage.”
The poll never directly asked whether the government should be able to tell religious nonprofits or other businesses what to believe but still yielded majority opposition generally and huge majority opposition from the constituents of several of the supportive GOP senators.
Only three of the supportive Republican senators will need to change their minds and align with their constituents during the final legislation vote next week to reject this bill.