In 2008, the “gays versus religion” frame was strongly entrenched in the mentality of the American public. ...
That is no longer the case. We are in a new reality.
Since 2008, we have seen faith-based campaigns like Believe Out Loud raise up the stories of LGBT and affirming faith leaders who have decided that they cannot be silent about their faith and their belief that God created and loves the whole world, and that God’s creation includes the lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people….Another writer drills into the data:
And these voices of faith, speaking out in support of the LGBT community, have helped drive the public opinion shift. A majority of Americans now support marriage equality, thanks in large part to hearing the voices of loving and committed same-sex couples. …
[A] new exploration of 2011 polling by Public Religion Research Institute offers decisive evidence that the old assumptions about battle lines between secular proponents and religious foes no longer hold. Majorities of five major religious groups and the religiously unaffiliated favor allowing gay and lesbian couples to marry, compared to three major religious groups who oppose same-sex marriage. On the side supporting same-sex marriage, the religiously unaffiliated (72 percent) are joined by majorities of Jews (76 percent), Americans affiliated with a non-Judeo-Christian religion (63 percent), white Catholics (56 percent), Hispanic Catholics (53 percent) and white mainline Protestants (52 percent). Together, these religious groups make up approximately 45 percent of the general population.
On the other hand, large majorities of white evangelical Protestants (75 percent), Mormons (75 percent) and black Protestants (63 percent) continue to oppose same-sex marriage. Opposition to same-sex marriage among these groups is intense: near-majorities of Mormons (48 percent) and evangelicals (46 percent) strongly oppose allowing gay and lesbian couples to marry legally. Together, these groups comprise approximately 32 percent of the general population.
Within these opposition groups, however, a generational gap signals that with the passage of time, this intense resistance may ebb.The writer goes on to point out that the media meme of "Gay vs. Christian" is no longer accurate.
Is this shift sufficient to change things? I'm not so sure, as LGBT rights continue to be a dog-call to the right--along with abortion, and surprisingly, contraception. But, this much I will certainly agree with:
There are those who continue to deny that God created LGBT people as they are and, as such, should have a place at the table. For this reason, we still desperately need more people of faith to continue to speak out and share their faith and their belief in a fully inclusive society.I challenge every one of you to speak out forcefully every time you hear the "gays vs. Christian" meme. Remind the speaker that many LGBT are Christian, and many Christians (and most Catholics!) agree that LGBT people should be married. There is a new reality and the media-- and the public-- need to catch on.