Religious Denominations and Same Sex Marriage: 2010 Edition

Support for Same Sex Marriage by Denomination: 2010 GSS

Support for same sex marriage now exceeds opposition to marital rights in the general population, but how does that look across religious groups? Who are the cultural laggards and who are the vanguard of social change? No surprises here.  Half of Liberal Protestants support marital rights, as do 60% of Episcopalians. Moderates are less supportive at 38%, while Lutherans a bit more supportive at 43%.  35% of Baptists support marital rights, but only 19% of sectarians favor civil rights for same sex couples.  Importantly, over47% of Catholics support marital rights for same sex couples. And, of course, all the non-Christians are for civil rights–you can’t be a civil rights hater if you’re a Unitarian, and an overwhelming majority of Jews, Non-identifiers, and other non-Christians (Buddhists, Hindus, Moslems and others) support civil rights.

Opposition to Same Sex Marriage: 2010 GSS

So, what about the haters? Who opposes civil rights for same sex couples? Notably, this is non-trivial, since many people can’t really decide what they think about this “controversial” issue. Well, Sectarian Christians will not be outdone, with 70% opposing marital rights. Baptists are the next biggest haters, with 53% in opposition and Moderate Protestants are not far behind. Mormons only generate 50% opposition—the numbers are small so we can’t be too sure, but this is a very low rate of opposition (gee, maybe they are starting to dream of Big Love?).  The big news is that no other religious group registers over 50% opposition to same sex marriage.  Under 40% of Liberal Protestants are opposed, and only 28% of Episcopalians–and less than 35% of  American Catholics support the hateful policies of the pedophile priests. That’s right. Catholics are less opposed to same sex marriage than are “liberal” protestants, and support for same sex marriage among Catholics is nearly 50%—and 34% higher than opposition.  And, of course, opposition is under 20%  among the 25% of Americans who identify in one of the  non-Christian groups or who shun religious identification.  Civil Rights haters are a dwindling minority, and are confined to strange sectarian groups like the Baptists, Assembly of God, Pentecostals, Church of Christ, and their ilk. Real Americans support civil rights.

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4 Responses to “Religious Denominations and Same Sex Marriage: 2010 Edition”

  1. James Sweet Says:

    I would have guessed the numbers would have been far worse for Mormons. You mention it was a small number of respondents; I am (two months!) late on turning in my 2010 performance report so I don’t have time to dig into the GSS myself…. How small? Could the number be waaay off? Or are we really seeing a manifestation of the moral decrepitude of both the Mormon and Catholic leadership, that even with a surprising number of their flock either supporting same-sex marriage or not really caring much either way, they still go out of their way to denigrate it?

  2. sherkat Says:

    Yeah, not many Mormons. They only asked the SSM question to half of the sample, so there are only 12 Mormons—but if I add up all the Mormons from the other years, they aren’t as hostile as the sectarian Protestants. I think it is mostly because of Jack Mormons. You can never stop being a Mormon….or at least people continue to identify even when they don’t. But, it could also reflect some residual hostility towards the regulation of marriage. Once SSM is passed, I bet you money the Mormon Fundies will petition for plural wives–and they may win.

  3. tom baker Says:

    And these alleged numbers come from where?

    And why is the first graph normalized at 100% and the second only at 70%.

  4. sherkat Says:

    Well “Tom”, as it says on the legend of the figure, these “alleged” estimates of the population parameters for support and opposition to same sex marriage come from the 2010 GSS–the NORC General Social Survey. Just Google it.

    The first graph goes to 100% because 100% of Unitarians support same sex marriage. Opposition isn’t as high, so there is no need to extend the scale any further. duh.

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