A July, 2015 Associated Press poll has found a majority of small businesses believe denying services to LGBTQ people should not be legal.
According to the AP, 80% of the 500 small businesses they surveyed said they supported a federal law protecting LGBTQ shoppers. The small business ownership was pretty evenly split Republican or Democrat. About 2/3rds said they had no internal policy in place protecting LGBTQ employees or shoppers, but 60% told the news wire agency it was the right thing to do.
Here in Virginia, there are early rumors that the state GOP will take steps to enact religious freedom legislation during the 2016 general assembly.
“It is paramount that the religious liberties of all Virginians be respected,” wrote Virginia House Speaker Bill Howell in a statement on his website. “While we must and will abide by the law, we must also ensure that the God-given and Constitutionally-guaranteed right to the free exercise of religion is not diminished in light of this ruling. The House of Delegates will fight to uphold this principle.”
Republican Del. C. Todd Gilbert echoed Howell’s concerns in an interview with the Times-Dispatch saying “protections of religious liberties will be “the primary focus” for the House GOP next year.”
Religious freedom laws, like those almost passed in Arizona in February, 2014, and Indiana late last year, have lead to disastrous PR incidents for the governments responsible for their passage.
“This is a weird thing to say but I always hoped that the Virginia Tech one would be the worst one ever…as bad as that was, I hoped that nothing would ever eclipse it but, such as life we got work to do so.”