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IU Study: Nation Divided On Denying Services To Same-Sex Customers

A new Indiana University Bloomington study says the country is divided on whether businesses should be able to deny services to same-sex couples

The study measured responses from 2,000 people across the country. It gave different scenarios where a photographer denied service to a couple, and asked people for their reactions.

While half of the survey participants think businesses should be able to deny services to same-sex couples, many didn’t see it as an issue of religious freedom.

Brian Powell is the lead author of the study and a professor of sociology at Indiana University. He says that’s not what surprised him the most.

"What really was surprising was two-fifths or almost 39 percent of the respondents said that interracial couples can be denied service," Powell says.

The study also asked people whether there’s a difference between self-employed individuals and corporations denying services. Respondents were twice as likely to say a self-employed person could deny service to same sex or interracial couples.

The study was done in 2015, before the controversial Supreme Court case over denying a wedding cake to a same-sex couple because of religious reasons.

Powell says it’s important to remember that public views can shape court decisions.

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