It feels like a stuck record to say so, but some bishops and the politicos who favour them, still aren’t getting the message, so we have to keep repeating it. Most US Catholics support gay marriage! Support is growing, and even accelerating. Catholics are more supportive than the population as a whole. The pattern is repeated right across the globe. So, it is simply untrue to say that “the Catholic Church” opposes marriage or family equality. The strongest case they can make against it is that the formal teaching of the institutional church (or Vatican doctrine) is against same sex marriage.

In common with the the rest of the country, further segmenting the sample shows that in the church too, there is a generational divide. Jay Bookman at the Atlanta Journal Constitutional reflects on the broader, international context of the growth in  support for marriage equality, and headlines:

Gay marriage: Coming soon to a country near you

Even more than Catholics, ,mainline Protestants support full marriage equality.  We could validly restate the Atlanta Journal Constitutional headline, as I often have in the past,

Gay marriage: Coming soon to a church near you

This is the graph from Pew Research:

The corollary of growth in support for marriage is that opposition is dropping. Taken togetber, this means that although the opposition had a 17 point advantage over the supporters a year ago, that margin has now shrunk to just 6 points for the population as  a whole. For a whole bunch of demogtaphic sub-groups, there are more supporters of gay marriage than opponents, notably those mainline Protestants and Catholics, but also including women and the all-important younger age groups, whose views will in time come to dominate. The dramatic upswing in support is not just coming from the rise of a new generation, though. Even within specific generations, people are shifting their views.

The shift in opinion on same-sex marriage has been broad-based, occurring across many demographic, political and religious groups. Notably, pluralities of white mainline Protestants and white Catholics now favor allowing gays and lesbians to marry legally – the first time this has occurred in Pew Research Center surveys.

Pew Research

(Other research shows that the shifts are strongest among people who come to recognize specific family members, friends and colleagues who are openly gay. This is the great value to the community of people coming out openly, including coming out in church, or as a married couple. Every public wedding increases visibility and erodes opposition.)

(Scheduled post for tomorrow: “Gay Marriage: Coming (Soon?) to a Church Near You.“)

Queering the Church:


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