Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Gay marriage among the religions

The following numbers are from the Pew Forum, from their just released 2004 survey on religious life in America. They reference many topics and here are the gay marriage poll numbers. (link here) (scroll to page 45 in the document to see this table) (also, a few of my comments below)

The numbers below are formatted in this manner:
(1st percentage)--(2nd percentage)--(3rd percentage)
(favor traditional marriage)--(favor civil unions)--(favor gay marriage)

ENTIRE SAMPLE 55% 18 27
Evangelical Protestant 75% 13 12
Traditionalist Evangelical 89% 8 3
Centrist Evangelical 67% 16 17
Modernist Evangelical 42% 24 34
Mainline Protestant 47% 27 26
Traditionalist Mainline 72% 18 10
Centrist Mainline 44% 29 27
Modernist Mainline 29% 33 38
Latino Protestants 71% 9 20
Black Protestants 72% 10 18
Catholic 48% 22 30
Traditionalist Catholic 71% 18 11
Centrist Catholic 52% 19 29
Modernist Catholic 20% 29 51
Latino Catholic 52% 14 34
Other Christian 77% 8 15
Other Faiths 30% 20 50
Jewish 16% 29 55
Unaffiliated 31% 19 50
Unaffiliated Believers 58% 10 32
Secular 23% 24 53
Atheist, Agnostic 7% 21 72

Some comments:

It seems the more liberal or "modern" the religion, the more apt they are to want gays unions to be codified.

I am surprised that only 16% of Jews favor traditional marriage. Homosexual behavior is explicitly condemned in the Torah. Christians try to find ways around that, but how can the Jew?

93% of atheists are in favor of gay unions and marriage.

89% of traditionalist evangelical protestants favor marriage to remain between a man and woman only. This is the strongest pro-marriage group. From what I can tell, this group includes the Southern Baptists, Assemblies of God, Lutheran-Missouri Synod, and Presbyterian Church in America, plus a lot of smaller denominations)

They also survey opinions on abortion. Some correlations:

Catholics support some kind of recognition of gay relationships 52-48. This is the exact percentage in which they support abortion according to the poll.

The entire sample is 55-45 pro-traditional marriage. The entire sample is 52-48 pro-abortion. (abortion numbers are on page 40 in the document)

0% of Jews think abortion should always be illegal. (must be a small sample; has to be)

Black and Latino Protestants are more opposed to gay unions than they are to abortion. (by 18% and 9% respectively)

Of the "other" "faiths"--Buddhists, Wiccans, Hindus, New Agers (and Muslims, which probably account for most of the 'anti' numbers)--70% support gay unions, 79% support abortion.