A majority of Americans oppose "religious freedom" exemptions for government officials who wish to discriminate against same-sex couples while on the job, a new Associated Press-Gfk poll shows.
According to the poll's results, 56 percent of Americans think government officials who oppose same-sex marriage should be required to issue them in accordance with the law, compared to 41 percent who believe there should be "religious exemptions" for people of faith in such situations.
The findings reflect major changes for both Democrats and Republicans after a similar poll gauged their reaction to the Supreme Court's decision on same-sex marriage in July.
At that time, 49 percent of Americans said there should be religious exemptions for people of faith while 47 percent said there should not.
The stark change in opinion in such little time could be contributed in part to the fact that Americans experienced first-hand how harmful it can be when government officials decide to obey their own laws when Kim Davis, the defiant Kentucky county clerk who found fame after disobeying several court orders to issue same-sex marriage licenses, found herself in jail this summer.
The AP notes that the biggest change in opinion happened among Republicans. In July, 72 percent of Republicans favored religious exemptions, but now, only 58 percent still support them.
Notable changes were also recorded among Democrats. In July, 67 percent opposed religious exemptions, and recently, that number rose to 73 percent.
The sea change in public opinion, however, has not changed the public's views on whether same-sex marriage should be legal at all, and whether the government should be responsible for protecting those rights.