The new Associate Press–GfK poll is out with news that should make Kim Davis lose some sleep.
Most Americans — 56 percent — now think government officials who issue marriage licenses should be required to issue them to gay and lesbian couples even if they have religious objections to do so, according to the new poll. Just 41 percent say there should be a religious exemption to that requirement. That’s a shift since an earlier AP-GfK poll conducted in July. Then, Americans were about evenly split, with 49 percent saying officials with religious objections should be exempt from issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples and 47 percent saying they should be required to issue them.
There could be many reasons for the shift in opinions, but a likely one is the circus that has surrounded the antics of Kim Davis and the various political gadflies that accompany her. The study also found that fewer Republicans were supporting religious exemptions for government officials refusing the marry same-sex couples, from 72% in July down to 58%.
The study was not all great news. There's still a slight majority of Americans who believes that the government should be more concerned with protecting religious liberty as opposed to the rights of the LGBT community. While this is unfortunate, the silver lining is that the gap between the two stances is lessening. Perhaps we'll see these issues neck-in-neck in the next poll.