LSU's Center for Public Policy Research Lab has been asking a lot of question around the state. The topics of conversation are what many in the media would consider to be "hot button" topics. These are the kind of discussions that often see pundits on cable news show getting all red faced and screaming at one another before the interview is over.

Probably two of the hottest topics in Louisiana and around the South in particular are the subjects of same-sex marriage and whether or not long standing monuments to Confederate War heroes should be removed.

According to Michael Henderson, Director of the Public Policy Lab, most Louisiana residents are not in favor of same-sex marriage. The survey also found that most residents are opposed to the removal of Confederate monuments.

On the subject of same-sex marriage Henderson told the Louisiana Radio Network that 53% of those who responded to the survey were opposed to the idea. Just about the same percentage, 52%, of residents supported religious freedom laws.

Almost exactly the same percentage believe that businesses who provide wedding services should be allowed to refuses services to same-sex couples on the grounds of religious reasons as opposed to same-sex marriage, generally.

On the question of Confederate monuments Henderson suggested in his comments that researchers were a bit surprised at the results they ascertained.  The survey suggested that 73%, almost three-quarters, of those surveyed were opposed to the idea of removing those monuments. The survey showed that 47% of black residents were opposed to the removal of the monuments as well.

It could be that part of this is just the fact that in a lot of areas maybe these statues have been around and maybe people don’t think it’s worth fighting these issues for these things that have already been around.

However the numbers were dramatically different when residents were surveyed about whether or not the state should issue specialty license plates that feature the Confederate flag.

49% think that it’s okay for the state to issue those licenses plates, 44% oppose and then we see a very large racial gap on opinion on that issues.

The Public Policy Research Lab is part of the Manship School of Mass Communications at LSU. It's purpose is to advance scholarly and practical research while playing a leadership role in state and national public policy development.