Thursday, June 11, 2015

Polls show most Christians support equality

Several polls out recently from Pew and PRRI show the expected:  nearly 60% of Americans favor marriage equality, with similar numbers opposing RFRA acts (religious freedom exemptions) and supporting anti-discrimination laws.
From the PRRI news release

“As national opinion has shifted toward support for LGBT rights, including among religious Americans, white evangelical Protestants are increasingly becoming an island of opposition amidst a sea of acceptance,” said Dr. Robert P. Jones, CEO of Public Religion Research Institute. “Today, white evangelical support remains below the level of support from a decade ago in the general public, and they are also less likely than other religious groups to acknowledge that LGBT Americans face discrimination.”

The issue of same-sex marriage continues to divide religious Americans. Majorities of religiously unaffiliated Americans (79 percent), white mainline Protestants (60 percent) and Catholics (58 percent) favor allowing gay and lesbian couples to marry legally. Conversely, only 29 percent of white evangelical Protestants and 35 percent of non-white Protestants support making same-sex marriage legal; majorities of white evangelical Protestants (62 percent) and non-white Protestants (54 percent) oppose it.
So, it is no longer a "Christian" value to oppose marriage equality.  Mainstream Media, take note.

Thinkprogress digs in a bit:
The curious outlier of white evangelicals appears rooted in their comparative unwillingness to acknowledge that LGBT people already face discrimination. Only 44 percent of white evangelicals told PRRI that gay and lesbian people endure “a lot” of discrimination, compared to 54 percent of non-white Protestants, 59 percent of white mainline Protestant, and 70 percent of Catholics who said the same. White evangelicals were slightly more willing to say that transgender people face systemic prejudice (49 percent), but still lagged behind the American populace as a whole (62 percent).

The findings reflect a trend that has become more and more evident over that past few years: that religious people actually generally champion LGBT rights, with only a few holdout groups (e.g., white evangelical Protestants) remaining staunchly opposed. Some of this support comes in direct defiance of established religious hierarchies such as U.S. Catholic bishops, who consistently oppose same-sex marriage and LGBT rights even as lay Catholics have become more supportive of marriage equality than any other American Christian group. This spiritual disagreement over LGBT acceptance has pushed many young Americans to abandon organized religion, but it has also inspired an whole new generation of progressive people of faith, many of whom are speaking out against anti-LGBT theology and citing holy scripture as their motivation for accepting people for who they are.

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