The Catholic University of America

Viewing by month: March 2011

Mar 23 2011

American Catholics and Same-Sex Marriage

Yesterday I was asked by the Public Religion Research Institute to comment on that institute’s newly released polling data on the attitudes of American Roman Catholics regarding same-sex unions.  The new numbers show continued momentum among Catholics toward support for such unions.

Among non-Latino, white Catholics 41% support same-sex marriage, 36% support civil unions, and 19% oppose any legal recognition of same-sex couples.  This represents an overall jump in support, especially for same-sex marriage.  Moreover, in comparison with other Christian denominations, Catholics have the highest numbers for such support—trumping not only Black Protestants and white Evangelicals, but even white mainline Protestants.  Given analysis of age-cohorts, this level of support should be expected to rise, inasmuch as there is dramatically higher support for same-sex marriage among younger Catholics than among older Catholics.

When looked at through the lens of Mass attendance, the results change, but neither as much as in previous polls nor as much as is true for many other public policy issues.  For Catholics who attend Mass at least weekly, support for same-sex marriage is now at 26% and for civil unions at 38%, which lumped together would mean 64% support for some kind of same-sex unions (an exact reversal of the 63% of weekly-attending Catholics who oppose abortion).  For those who attend Mass “once or twice per month” support for same-sex marriage is 43%, while another 43% support civil unions.  For self-identified Catholics who attend Mass less frequently, 59% support same-sex marriage and 19% support civil unions.


2 comments - Posted by Stephen Schneck at 9:18 AM - Categories: Religion & Culture & Society