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Survey: Most black Americans support some LGBT rights but not same-sex marriage

Black Americans are less likely than white Americans to support same-sex marriage, but they're also more likely to say businesses should be required to provide wedding services to same-sex couples, according to a recent survey from the Pew Research Center.

same-sex marriage by race

Pew's Fact Tank provides one possible explanation: "Most African Americans (80%) say that gays and lesbians face a lot of discrimination in the U.S., which is much higher than the number of whites who say this (61%). The poll also finds that, for the overall public, most people who think gays and lesbians face 'a lot' of discrimination say that businesses should be required to provide services for same-sex weddings. By contrast, most people who think gays and lesbians do not face a lot of discrimination say businesses should not have to provide services for same-sex weddings."

Religious beliefs likely play a role as well. Black people are one of the most religious groups in the country. In a September survey of 2,002 people, 70 percent of black respondents said homosexuality is a sin, compared to 47 percent of white respondents.

Still, support for same-sex marriage is rising across the board, including for black Americans and particularly among younger generations. A survey from the Public Religion Research Institute found nearly six in 10 black millennials say gay and lesbian couples should be allowed to legally marry, compared to 39 percent of black Americans overall.

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