Again and Again, Statistics Tell a Positive Story About Catholics

statisticsOver the past month, several polls have confirmed what many previous polls have already shown:  the Catholic laity support LGBT equality, including marriage equality.

In the most recent survey, a Quinnipiac poll released last week, Catholics outpace average Americans when it comes to marriage equality.  According to

“While same sex unions are approved by 48 percent to 46 percent overall, Catholics give them the thumbs-up by 49 percent to 43 percent, the survey from Quinnipiac University found.

“ ‘It seems pretty clear that attitudes toward same-sex marriage in American society are changing rapidly,’ said Peter Brown, the assistant director of the Connecticut university’s polling institute.

“ ‘While the country remains split on the issue, supporters have come pretty far in the last four years.’ . . .

“The biggest opposition among any group is with white Protestants who oppose it 63 percent to 32 percent.”

A Public Religion Research Institute report confirms that Catholics are ahead of the average American population on marriage equality:

“A slim majority (52%) of Americans favor allowing gay and lesbian couples to marry, and 44% oppose.

“Among religious groups, majorities of Catholics (59%), white mainline Protestants (56%), and the unaffiliated (77%) favor allowing gay and lesbian couples to marry.”

A recent survey of Catholics in Illinois, conducted by the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute at Southern Illinois University, showed an overwhelming majority support some form of  legal relationship recognition for lesbian/gay couples.  According to

“. . . 81 percent of Catholics surveyed support either full marriage equality for gay and lesbian couples or the right to a civil union. Specifically, 39.9 percent said they support marriage rights and 40.1 percent said their position is for same-sex couples to have civil unions. Only 15.7 percent said there should be no legal recognition of same-sex relationships.

“. . . the same poll found that 43.6 percent of Illinois residents approve of full marriage equality, 31.8 percent preferred civil unions and 20.2 percent said there should be no legal recognition. In 2010, the same poll reported 33.6 percent of people were in favor of marriage rights.”

The Illinois statistics are significant because that state, which already has a civil unions law, may well take up the discussion of a marriage equality law in 2013.

–Francis DeBernardo, New Ways Ministry




0 replies
  1. Frank McMullan
    Frank McMullan says:

    Might it be that laity will lead the Church out of the quagmire it has gotten itself into on sexuality issues? I actually believe that religions – not the law – should be entitled to decide whether they will bless same sex unions. That said, if they want to take up their marbles and not play, I can’t help thinking it is their loss – and a huge loss at that. It’s already happened on the LGBT adoptive parent issue in some places. Could laity be the route to removing the logjam?

    • Joe
      Joe says:

      Aside from this particular issue, I am very impressed by the many organizations within the Catholic Church who have addressed the issue of hunger, poverty and human abuse and social justice and equality.. Catholic Charities, St. Vincent de Paul Society, the many different religious groups like Franciscans, Jesuits, White Fathers of Africa, Dominican all have a focus on issues of social justice. I remember that when I was a seminarian, I worked with Father Phillip Berrigan, a Josephite (dedicated to black Catholics) during the time he was a protestor against the Vietnam War (which a majority of Blacks were involved) and civil rights. Representatives of the Catholic Church marched on Washington with MLK along with other social justice aware churches like United Church of Christ, Unitarian and Quakers. I am proud to call myself Catholic not just from what comes from the Magisterium but what comes from it’s wonderful and dedicated people. It seems they have a good sense of what is right, what is equal. God speaks through them.


Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] back Sullivan’s claims again and again, and there is the growing reality that LGBT issues are a primary reason former Catholics […]

  2. […] Again and Again, Statistics Tell a Positive Story About Catholics ( […]

  3. […] Again and Again, Statistics Tell a Positive Story About Catholics ( […]

  4. […] Again and Again, Statistics Tell a Positive Story About Catholics ( […]

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *