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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, May 4, 2018 - Volume 46 Issue 18
Who loves ya, baby?
Section One
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Who loves ya, baby?

Most religious people OK with same-sex marriage, new survey shows

by Mike Andrew - SGN Staff Writer

Only two years after the US Supreme Court's Obergefell decision legalized same-sex marriages nationwide, most religious people have accepted such marriages, according to a new study by the Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI).?PRRI's 2017 American Values Atlas surveyed 40,017 Americans by phone, including 23,903 cell-phone interviews, between April 5 and December 23, 2017. Landline and cell numbers were dialed randomly.

The polling finds that despite continued opposition from organized religious leaders, believers themselves have rapidly shifted their views on same-sex marriage.

'Most religious groups in the U.S. now support same-sex marriage, including overwhelming majorities of Unitarians (97 percent), Buddhists (80 percent), the religiously unaffiliated (80 percent), Jewish Americans (77 percent), and Hindus (75 percent),' PRRI says.

'Roughly two-thirds of white mainline Protestants (67 percent), white Catholics (66 percent), Orthodox Christians (66 percent), and Hispanic Catholics (65 percent) also favor same-sex marriage.

'A slim majority of Muslims (51 percent) favor same-sex marriage, but only 34 percent are opposed; 15 percent offer no opinion on this issue.'

Opposition to marriage equality among religious groups based among communities of color has also collapsed.

'Black Protestants have moved from solid opposition to a plurality of support for same-sex marriage. In 2013, nearly six in ten (57 percent) black Protestants opposed same-sex marriage,' PRRI observed.

'Today just 43 percent oppose it, compared to nearly half (48 percent) who support it. Hispanic Protestants have moved from solid opposition to same-sex marriage to being divided over the policy.

'In 2013, nearly two-thirds (65 percent) of Hispanic Protestants opposed same-sex marriage. Today, 43 percent favor the policy, compared to 45 percent who oppose it and 13 percent who offer no opinion.'

Opposition to same-sex marriage is now confined to white evangelicals, Mormons, and Jehovah's Witnesses. Fifty-eight percent of evangelicals still oppose same-sex marriage, with 53 percent of Mormons and 63 percent of Jehovah's Witnesses.

Overall, 61 percent of Americans support marriage equality according to the poll, with majority support in 44 of the 50 states.

Just one state, Alabama, has a clear majority opposed to equality, but support was under 50 percent in Mississippi, Tennessee, West Virginia, Louisiana, and North Carolina - all areas saturated with white evangelicals.

The PRRI survey also shows that Americans overwhelmingly support non-discrimination laws that would protect LGBT people in their workplaces, public accommodations, and housing.

Seventy percent of Americans favor such laws, and only 23 percent oppose them. Sixty percent of Americans also oppose so-called 'freedom to discriminate' laws that give business owners the right to refuse service to LGBT people on religious grounds.

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