American Catholics Support Gay Marriage

An interesting data point in the latest poll about American attitudes about same-sex marriage:

A new report from the Public Religion Research Institute suggests a majority of Catholics are supportive of gay and lesbian rights.

The report, which was released today, found that 43 percent of Catholics favored allowing gay and lesbian people to marry; 31 percent favored allowing them to form civil unions. 22 percent said there should be no legal recognition of a gay relationship.

Here are a few more findings from the report:

— Only 39 percent of Catholics give their church top marks for its treatment of the issue of homosexuality.

— 56 percent of Catholics believe that homosexual sex is not a sin.

— When marriage is defined as a civil marriage “like you get at city hall,” 71 percent of Catholics support it.

This is perhaps a reflection of the general trend in the United States toward broader acceptance of same-sex marriage, but it also reflects the fact that, for at least a generation now, American Catholics as a whole have parted from the Church on a whole host of social issues such as contraception, marriage after divorce,  and abortion.


FILED UNDER: Public Opinion Polls, Quick Takes, Religion, US Politics
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook


  1. Franklin says:

    Anecdotally, the Catholics I know are definitely more socially liberal than the Protestant types. I don’t know that any of them are pro-choice, though, but they’re mostly reasonable about the exceptions.

  2. regularron says:

    They are breaking from Holy Mother Church because the Church itself has allowed Catholic Americans to be seduced by secular dumb-ocracy. And it’s rather sad. I am not saying that two people shouldn’t be able to get a contract with the Government, but Holy Mother Church needs to come out (it won’t) forcefully and say “Hey! Marriage is a sacrament between a man, a woman and God. Not some dirtbag in a black robe”.

    This little poll should be a wake up call to the Church leadership. And a perfect time to get out there and start lobbying for the Government to get out of the marriage business.

    But until then, Hoo-Ray for Dumb-Ocracy!