19% of Americans say small businesses should be able to refuse service to Jews
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19% of Americans say small businesses should be able to refuse service to Jews

Survey investigates support for denying services to minority groups if doing so would violate owners’ religious beliefs; 30% support denying gays services

Illustrative. Ultra-Orthodox Jews in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, New York. March 21, 2012. (Serge Attal/FLASH90/File)
Illustrative. Ultra-Orthodox Jews in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, New York. March 21, 2012. (Serge Attal/FLASH90/File)

Nineteen percent of Americans think small businesses should be allowed to refuse service to Jews if serving them would violate their owners religious beliefs, a new poll shows.

That is an increase from 2014, when 12 percent of respondents agreed with the statement, according to survey results published Tuesday by the Public Religion Research Institute.

The survey found increased support for business owners to refuse service to a number of other groups as well, including gays and lesbians, transgender people, atheists, Muslims and African Americans.

The proportion of Americans who think small businesses should be able to refuse service to gays and lesbians was the highest among all the minority groups, at 30 percent. The other groups ranged from 15 percent for African Americans to 29 percent for transgender people.

A significantly higher proportion of Republicans approved of service refusals in all categories than Democrats did. Twenty four percent of Republicans thought small business owners should be allowed to refuse service to Jews based on religious grounds. That number was 17 percent for Democrats.

PRRI surveyed 1,100 adults via phone with a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 percent.

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