AP Poll: 59% of Americans Say Wedding-Related Businesses Should Be Free to Decline Service to Same-Sex Couples on Religious Grounds

Up from 52% in January

People in the United States are evenly divided over the Supreme Court case that made same-sex marriage legal nationwide, according to an Associated Press-GfK poll.

Many think local officials with religious objections to marrying gay and lesbian couples should be exempt from issuing licenses.

The poll found no surge in support for same-sex marriage since the court's ruling June 26. If anything, support was down slightly since April, when 48 percent said they were in favor in another AP-GfK survey. An earlier poll, conducted in January and February, found 44 percent in support of same-sex marriage.

People were split over whether officials who issue marriage licenses should be allowed to say no to gay and lesbian couples because of religious objections. Just under half said those officials should not have to issue the licenses, about the same proportion saying they should.

Also, 59 percent think wedding-related businesses should be allowed to refuse service to same-sex couples, compared with 52 percent in the earlier poll. By comparison, 46 percent said businesses in general should be allowed to refuse service because of their religious principles, while 51 percent said that should not be allowed.