Poll: Americans split on gay marriage ruling

Americans are split on whether the Supreme Court should issue a ruling that legalizes same-sex marriage nationwide, a new poll finds.

Fifty percent think that the Supreme Court should rule that same-sex marriage must be legal throughout the country, while 48 percent think it should not, according to a new AP-Gfk poll.
 
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The public is also split on some of the more granular questions of how to balance religious liberty with the rights of gay Americans.
 
Forty-eight percent said state officials who issue marriage licenses, like judges, should be exempt from providing licenses to same-sex couples if they object on religious grounds, while 49 percent said they should be required to issue the licenses.
 
A small majority, 52 percent, said businesses that offer wedding related services should be able to refuse service on same-sex couples of religious grounds. Forty-five percent said that they should not be allowed to refuse service.
 
Fifty-seven percent, however, feel that businesses overall should not be allowed to refuse service to same-sex couples.

The poll had a sample of 1,077 adults and a margin of error of plus or minus 3.4 percentage points. It was conduct between April 23 and 27. Some of the questions were asked of only half of the sample.

The findings come one day after the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in a group of cases that could allow the court to rule that bans on same-sex marriage are unconstitutional. They also come amid an ongoing debate over so-called "religious liberty" laws, which critics say would give businesses license to discriminate against gay customers.