The Supreme Court, Same Sex Marriage, and American Religion

Here are some very interesting statistics concerning Americans attitudes towards same sex marriage:

The most supportive major religious groups are Buddhists (84 percent), Jews (77 percent), and Americans who select “Other religion” (75 percent); additionally, more than three-quarters (77 percent) of the religiously unaffiliated also support same-sex marriage.

More than six in ten (62 percent) white mainline Protestants support same-sex marriage. Among white mainline Protestant denominations, support ranges from 69 percent support among white mainline Presbyterians and 68 percent among both white Episcopalians and white Congregationalists/United Church of Christ members, to lower support among white mainline Baptists (53 percent) and white mainline Church of Christ/Disciples (50 percent).

And while the Catholic Church officially opposes the legalization of same-sex marriage, about six in ten white (61 percent), Hispanic (60 percent), and other non-white Catholics (60 percent) support allowing gay and lesbian couples to marry legally. A majority of orthodox Christians (56 percent) also support same-sex marriage.

On the other side of the debate, majorities of Jehovah’s Witnesses (75 percent), Mormons (68 percent), white evangelical Protestants (66 percent), Hispanic Protestants (58 percent), and black Protestants (54 percent) oppose allowing gay and lesbian couples to marry legally. Among white evangelical Protestant denominations, white evangelical Baptists are the most opposed (72 percent), while white evangelical Lutherans are nearly evenly divided (45 percent favor, 48 percent opposed).

For more public opinion of same-sex marriage, see “Every State’s Opinion of Same-sex Marriage” and “Map: Legal Status of and Support for Same-sex Marriage in Each State.”

All of this is noteworthy because

Next Tuesday, oral arguments will begin on a group of Supreme Court cases that will determine the legality of same-sex marriage nationwide.

If you were to compare the Christian denominations which are shrinking and those which support same sex marriage you would discover an interesting correlation.  Similarly, Christian denominations which oppose same sex marriage are remaining consistent numerically or growing.  Perhaps growing a church is not the same thing as bowing to the idols of cultural morality.

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