The 2016 Louisiana Survey: Public Remains Conservative on Most Social Issues
Support “Religious Freedom,” Preservation of Confederate Monuments Among Other Right-leaning Policies
Results from the 2016 Louisiana Survey show shows that across a number of social or cultural issues – including same sex marriage, allowing business to refuse services to same sex couples, abortion, gun control, and the removal of images representing the former Confederacy from public spaces – most Louisiana residents hold conservative views. The Louisiana Survey is an annual project of the Reilly Center for Media and Public Affairs at LSU’s Manship School for Mass Communication to identify the opinions of Louisiana residents and share those opinions with state law makers.
Opponents of same sex marriage continue to edge out supporters in the state (53 percent to 41 percent), a division unchanged from a year ago before the U.S. Supreme Court ruling.
About half of residents (52 percent) favor allowing a business providing wedding services, such as catering or flowers, to refuse services to same sex couples for religious reasons (often referred to as “religious freedom laws”), and 41 percent believe these business should be required to provide their services as they would to all other customers.
Nearly three-fourths of Louisiana residents (73 percent) oppose removing monuments to people who fought on the side of the Confederacy during the Civil War from public spaces. About half of Louisiana residents (49 percent) favor the state issuing license plates that contain the image of the confederate battle flag when requested by individual drivers, and 44 percent oppose the practice.
Louisiana residents are generally more opposed to abortion than are Americans as a whole. In Louisiana a majority (55 percent) think abortions should be illegal in all or most cases, while just 40 percent think it should be legal in all or most cases – nearly the mirror opposite of what national surveys show. While a large majority support some restrictions on access to abortion (82 percent), a relatively small share (26 percent) think it should be illegal in all cases.
Just over one-third of Louisiana residents (36 percent) favor a statewide ban on assault weapons, most (61 percent) oppose such a ban. However, Louisiana residents are more supportive of gun control when asked a broader question about stricter statewide restrictions on access to firearms. A majority (55 percent) favor more restrictions.
About the Louisiana Survey
Since 2003, the Louisiana Survey has tracked public opinion about contemporary issues and challenges facing the state as well as trends in evaluations of the state’s economic, social, and political affairs.
The 2016 Louisiana Survey was administered over the telephone from February 1st to February 26th to both landline and cell phone respondents. The project includes a representative sample of 1,001 adult Louisiana residents. The total sample has a margin of error of +/- 3.1 percentage points.
This is the seventh in a series of releases about findings from the 2016 Louisiana Survey.
A copy of the report is are available at http://pprllsu.com/projects/