Majority of Catholics, Mainline Protestants Support Marriage

Fewer religiously affiliated people see marriage equality as a divisive issue that violates church doctrine, according to the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life.

BY Michelle Garcia

June 10 2013 2:10 PM ET

Though the number of religiously unaffiliated people who support marriage equality is at an all-time high, percentages of white Protestants and Catholics who are supportive are also on the rise. 
 
A third of the people who participated in the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life said their minds changed on marriage equality because someone they know — either family, friend, or other acquaintance — came out to them as LGBT. Equal percentages of people, 18%, said they now support marriage equality because it's either inevitable and the world is changing, or because they think the government should no longer dictate marriage on a personal level. 
 
Only 13% of white evangelicals supported marriage equality in 2001. While only 23% support marriage rights for same-sex couples 12 years later, the increase has come mainly in the last four years. Figures among black Protestants has remained essentially the same, with 30% supporting marriage in 2001, a steep drop in 2004, and then 32% supporting marriage equality now. 
 
Meanwhile, Catholics and mainline Protestants have shown steady increases in their support for marriage equality since 2009. Among Catholics, 54% support marriage equality, up from 40% in 2001. Fifty-five percent of mainline Protestants support marriage equality, up from 38% in 2001. 
 
Overall, 56% of Americans said extending marriage rights to same-sex couples would go against their religious beliefs, though that percentage has even dropped six points since 2003. 
 
The survey was performed in March among 1,501 adults in the U.S. 
Tags: Religion

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