Surveys Continue to Show Catholic Support for LGBT Equality

polls 1Some recent polls have come up with interesting developments about Catholics and LGBT issues.  The findings are summarized for each poll under the sub-headings below.

Quinnipiac Poll of Virginians on Marriage Equality–Including Catholics reports that a recent poll from Quinnipiac University found

“Fifty percent of registered Virginia voters support same-sex marriage compared to 43 percent who don’t, with a clear majority of women approving it.”

Among the statistics for sub-groups in the poll were those for Catholics in the state:

“Catholics favored gay marriage 56 percent to 40 percent, while Protestants opposed it 57 percent to 36 percent. Among those who identified themselves as born-again evangelicals, 74 percent opposed it.”

U.S. Catholics Disagree with Vatican on Homosexuality

The above sub-head is starting to sound a little bit like the proverbial “Dog Bites Man” headline because such news is becoming so commonplace.  Yet another poll, this one from the Pew Research Center, shows that U.S. Catholics do not support the Vatican’s opposition to LGBT equality. reports:

“While the Catholic Church officially maintains that homosexual relations are sinful, many Catholics in the U.S. have a more accepting view. A recent survey by the Pew Research Center found that more than seven-in-ten U.S. Catholics (71%) say homosexuality should be accepted by society. Just a third (33%) say they believe homosexual behavior is a sin, down from nearly half who said this in 2003. However, fully half (54%) of American Catholics say there is at least some conflict between their personal religious beliefs and homosexuality, with 42% saying there is ‘a lot’ of conflict.”

Are Catholics the Reason for Marriage Equality in New England?

All six New England states have marriage equality laws.  That’s almost half of the 13 states plus the District of Columbia which allow marriage for lesbian and gay couples.  Could the reason be because there are so many Catholics in those states?

The Public Religion Research Institute released a report this year as Rhode Island was enacting marriage equality.  The report notes, among other things, that Catholics, a significant population bloc in those states, also have a strong record of supporting marriage equality:

“New England has a low percentage of groups opposed to same-sex marriage. Only 7% of New Englanders identify as white evangelical Protestants, compared to nearly 1-in-5 (18%) Americans overall. Only 24% of white evangelicals favor same-sex marriage (71% are opposed). Black Protestants, who also oppose same-sex marriage (37% favor, 57% oppose), are also underrepresented in New England compared to the national population (3% vs. 8%). Instead, Catholics (30%), mainline Protestants (22%), and Jews (6%) are overrepresented among New Englanders, and majorities of these groups favor same-sex marriage (57%, 55%, and 81%, respectively). In addition, 1-in-5 (21%) New England residents are religiously unaffiliated, a figure that’s similar to the rest of the country. More than three-quarters (76%) of religiously unaffiliated Americans favor same-sex marriage.”

It looks like Catholics are going to continue to be key figures in marriage equality and other LGBT equality debates for years to come.

–Francis DeBernardo, New Ways Ministry

9 replies
    • Richard Novak
      Richard Novak says:

      Re: “Why isn’t this translating to the hierarchy?”

      It’s my firm conviction that the hierarchy (USA and elsewhere) function within a “closed system” paradigm. At least among the USCCB, most bishops are John Paul 2 appointees whose selection criteria emphasized LOYALTY to the “Roman way” and unquestioning faithfulness to certain “key” church teachings, most notably, (opposition to): contraception, abortion, divorce & remarriage, lesbian/gay relationships (esp. marriage), in vitro fertilization, embryonic stem cell research, and women’s ordination.

      Alongside of these proscribed church teachings, it appears most of our appointed bishops share a kind of “adversarial & patronizing” relationship (espoused by John Paul 2 and Benedict 16) toward theologians. That is, theologians are primarily to serve endorsing doctrinal and moral pronouncements by the magisterium so as to insure an image of absolute “continuity” in church teaching. In other words, they end up “parroting” the already established content of the teachings (and the pre-determined philosophical systems used to justify these teachings). Freedom of inquiry and exploring newer theological frontiers is suspect and discouraged – or else is forced to operate within narrowly prescribed areas. Those theologians buying into this become the hierarchy’s “yes” men. While those promoting a vigorous scholarship that’s in DIALOG with current science – and especially with the lived experiences of a wide spectrum of the faithful – are disparaged and marginalized as “dissenters.”

      Until these attitudes and structures change, the church will continue with “business as usual.”


Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] Times columnist, has pointed out something that we have noted on this blog for a long time:  that Catholic people and Catholic nations have been in the forefront of the LGBT equality movement around the globe. […]

  2. […] same-gender relationships is ever-rising and marriage rights ever-expanding, with Catholics at the forefront of LGBT support. Gregory Lipper with Americans United for Separation of Church and State […]

  3. […] against same-gender marriage.  The church hierarchy is defending heterosexual-only.  We know that poll after poll keeps showing that Catholics support marriage equality–and “the church” is rightly […]

  4. […]  indicating American Catholic support for LGBT right echoes previous numbers, reported on here and here by Bondings 2.0. However, Quinnipiac University Polling Institute’s latest numbers on this […]

  5. […] with such partisanship, his endeavor seems futile given Rhode Island Catholics’ overwhelming support for LGBT rights. You can read Fr. Sistare’s full email at […]

  6. […] the modern implications this might have. With polls consistently showing high Catholic support for same-gender marriage rights, the discussion of sacramental marriage is inevitable. Assuredly debate over finer points in the […]

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