While it’s nice to think that our country is sometimes on the right track, statistics like this remind us that there is still a lot of work to be done. In a study conducted by sociologists at Indiana University, 39% of Americans support refusal of service to interracial couples. And 53% of Americans support service-refusal to same-sex couples.
A Colorado discrimination case is the primary inspiration behind this new study. The Supreme Court recently heard arguments after a CO baker refused to serve a same-sex wedding on religious grounds. In the study, sociologists took into account the type of business (self-employed or corporate), religious beliefs, and identification of the couple (same-sex or interracial). The researchers included interracial couples in the study for comparison.
Despite the fact that, by law, race is a protected category, Americans expect businesses to discriminate based on race. While 61% of those in the study said self-employed businesses could deny service, only 31% of Americans said corporate businesses could deny service.
But let’s not simplify this: 31% of Americans still believe that big corporations should be allowed to deny service to interracial and same-sex couples.
This part of the study doesn’t even have anything to do with religious beliefs. Not that that’s an excuse to deny anyone service, but it shows that a business’s religious values are not the main component in how Americans view or engage in discrimination.
But is it really that shocking? America is still very much a racist and discriminatory country. If anything, this study reiterates what many of us already know or have experienced. Self-employed or corporate, religious or not, minorities still struggle with being fully accepted.