POLL: Is the Catholic Church Becoming More or Less Accepting of LGBT People?

At the end of this blog post, please respond to our poll about Catholic Church acceptance of LGBTQ people .

GLAAD, the national LGBTQ media watchdog organization, recently released the results of their annual survey of Americans’ attitudes towards acceptance of sexual and gender minorities, and the results are disappointing.  For the first time in four years of surveying the populace, acceptance of LGBTQ people has decreased instead of staying stable or increasing.

The latest report, entitled Accelerating Acceptance 2018, was conducted by The Harris Poll in 2017, and in almost every question asked, acceptance attitudes declined from previous years.  The percentages of acceptance dropped only a few points in each category, not a wide and wild change, however the fact that practically every category experienced some decline indicates a worrisome pattern.

For those interested in Catholic LGBTQ issues, one relevant question asked was about how comfortable people were with having an LGBTQ person as a member of their houses of worship.  The percentage of people responding that they were “very” or “somewhat” uncomfortable was 24% for 2017.   That number is up from 22% in both 2015 and 2016.  Those last two years had been a decrease from 26% in 2014.  So it looks like the number of uncomfortable non-LGBTQ people in religious institutions is creeping back up.

As I thought about this survey, I wondered what a survey of Catholic attitudes of acceptance would look like, and if there has been any significant change, in either direction, in recent years.

To help answer that question, I’m turning to Bondings 2.0 readers to get your opinion.  Have you noticed a trend concerning acceptance of and attitudes toward LGBTQ people in the Catholic Church in the past four years?   Please take our poll below to give us your opinions.  The poll will be open until February 15, 2018, and we will report on the results soon after.

Bondings 2.0 readers tend to be a broad spectrum of people in the Catholic Church.  They are spread far and wide from around the nation and across the globe.  Their opinions differ about much of the news that we report here on Catholic LGBTQ issues.  So, while our poll results will not be scientific, we think that they will give a good picture of how people concerned about Catholic LGBTQ issues think about how acceptance is or is not progressing.

Following the GLAAD polls, which began in 2014, we will use that year as the starting point.

So please answer the following questions using, 2014 as your reference point for comparison.

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1. Do you think that overall acceptance of LGBTQ people in the Catholic Church has

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2. Do you think that attitudes of people in the pews of the Catholic Church have

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3. Do you think that attitudes of church leaders that you most regularly encounter (pastors, pastoral ministers, school administrators and teachers, other institutional managers, etc.)

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4. Do you think that attitudes of bishops and other members of the hierarchy

Please answer EITHER question 5 or 6, based on your answer to question 1

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5. If you think attitudes and acceptance have DECREASESD, what criteria have you used to make your evaluations

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6. If you think attitudes and acceptance have INCREASED, what criteria have you used to make your evaluations

Thank you for taking the time to answer our poll.   Please share this poll with your social media and email contacts. We will publish and comment on the results by the end of the month.

5 replies
  1. Friends
    Friends says:

    Hey Francis,

    My issue with “The Poll” is that the “OTHER” category needs to provide a window for the responding reader to write an explanation of WHY they chose “OTHER”. Plausible reasons:

    — It could be that their own personal experience of discrimination has been ambiguous or non-existent.

    — It could be that their own parish is quite open and welcoming — but they are also keenly aware of very bad and negative attitudes toward GLBT Catholics in other parishes, around the country and around the world.

    Here’s an illustration of this ambiguity: my own Cardinal Newman Catholic Center at UMass-Amherst is absolutely welcoming of any and all Catholics who wish to worship with the University community. There is no hint whatsoever of any anti-GLBT discrimination in our community. Never once has an anti-GLBT statement or sermon been proclaimed from the pulpit.

    However, at my undergraduate college (Holy Cross), the Diocesan bishop attempted to order the administration to shut down its pro-GLBT groups and initiatives. Then (as I think I’ve mentioned previously), he was busted for DUI, and spent a night in jail. Apparently he learned something from this chastening experience. Divine intervention and rectification, perhaps? At least I like to think so! That’s why I believe a space to provide a comment attached to the choice of “OTHER” should have been provided.

    Keep on keeping on, anyway! We all know it’s a labor of love on your part, and we all deeply appreciate it.

    • Francis DeBernardo, Editor
      Francis DeBernardo, Editor says:

      The window for “OTHER” is below the choice. You can write your answer in that long box. I am sorry that it was not clearer. The program that we used to create the poll did not give us an option to move the box next to the word “OTHER” as we would have preferred. I am sorry for the confusion.

  2. Bishop Carlos Florido, osf
    Bishop Carlos Florido, osf says:

    The Roman Catholic Church (there are other Catholic churches as the Anglican, Episcopal, Old Catholic Churches, etc.) is unfortunately ambivalent about LGBT people. I have great love and respect for the RC, many of its clergy and so forth. I received an outstanding education from a Catholic School for which I am extremely grateful.


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