Family Research Council, National Religious Broadcasters partner in poll
Nashville, TN — Contrary to the narrative that most Americans have accepted the “inevitability” of same-sex marriage, a new survey released February 24 finds broad support for traditional marriage and protection of those who hold such views.
The survey, commissioned by Family Research Council (FRC) in partnership with the National Religious Broadcasters (NRB), found that 81 percent of Americans agree that government should “leave people free to follow their beliefs about marriage as they live their daily lives at work and in the way they run their businesses.”
Additionally, 61 percent support the right of states and citizens to uphold traditional marriage and the “Supreme Court should not force all 50 states to redefine marriage.” The survey also found 53 percent of Americans agree marriage should be defined only as the union of one man and one woman.
The survey of 800 registered voters conducted by WPA Opinion Research was released at a press conference held during the NRB 2015 International Christian Media Convention in Nashville, TN.
With the Supreme Court poised to rule this summer on the constitutionality of same-sex marriage, FRC President Tony Perkins said, “The Court will be at a point of overreach if they impose a one-size-fits-all definition of marriage on the nation by redefining it.”
Major policy decisions, Perkins said, should not be made without broad social consensus, noting continuing political debate more than 40 years after the Supreme Court legalized abortion on demand.
“It’s clear, based on [this] polling, that Americans have not reached a broad social consensus that marriage should be redefined,” he said.
Calling the findings “incredible,” NRB President & CEO Dr. Jerry A. Johnson said it was a “slam dunk” that more than 80 percent of Americans agree that citizens should be free to practice their faith — including in their businesses. Even 80 percent of those who never attend church agree, he noted.
“Government has no right establishing speech codes or business codes on marriage and 81 percent of Americans agree entirely,” he said.
As an organization concerned with First Amendment rights of religion, speech and press, Dr. Johnson said, “We are with you on this. We are with the Founders on this.”
The NRB hopes to become for the First Amendment what the National Rifle Association (NRA) is to the defense of the Second Amendment, he said.
Joining Perkins and Dr. Johnson at the news conference were the former owners of an Oregon bakery and a sports broadcaster, each of whom have been discriminated against for their support of traditional marriage.
Aaron and Melissa Klein, former owners of Sweet Cakes by Melissa in Gresham, OR, are being threatened with $150,000 in fines because they declined to bake a same-sex wedding cake. In the wake of the controversy, the Kleins closed the business in 2013.
Aaron Klein, who now drives a garbage truck, said the new poll shows state governments and many in the judiciary are ignoring the voters’ wishes. In 2004, Oregon adopted with 57 percent support a state constitutional amendment defining marriage as only between one man and one woman.
“I actually believe we have an obligation to the next generation to stand up for our constitutional freedoms, not given by man, but given by God,” Klein said, whatever the cost resulting from such a stand.
Craig James, a former FOX Sports Network football analyst, was fired in 2013 by the network — 24 hours after he was hired — after it learned that he supported traditional marriage while a 2012 candidate for U.S. Senate in Texas.
“I hope that my situation becomes a poster child for employment discrimination,” he said. James was a former NFL running back and has 20 years' experience as a broadcaster.
“We have to be as bold and tenacious as those who are trying to trample” religious freedom, James said. “If we don’t, we will lose it.”
By NRB Staff
Published: February 26, 2015