Poll Shows Many Religious Groups Support Gay Marriage

A new poll shows that, perhaps unsurprisingly, young people are far more likely to support gay marriage than older ones. More surprising, however, is that several religious groups are now in support of marriage equality.

According to the Public Religion Research Institute, 62% of millennials (people aged 18 to 29) favor gay marriage, while only 31% of those over 65 say the same. Not too shocking, although it's worth noting that the poll also found an increase in support for gay marriage over the last five years, suggesting that views are changing. There's good reason to hope that by the time millennials are senior citizens, their pro-equality views will dominate.

The PRRI notes that "conventional wisdom" dictates that religious people oppose gay marriage. However, their poll found that 67% of non-Christians who identify as religious are in favor of marriage equality. So are 52% of Catholics and 51% of mainline Protestants. Evangelical Protestants are largely anti-gay marriage, but the percentage differs by race. Seventy-six percent of white evangelicals are against the practice, while only 60% of black evangelicals are. This contradicts the notion, advanced by Dan Savage and others, that black Americans are disproportionately homophobic. Another interesting finding: a majority of religious people of all denominations (including evangelical Christians) believe that "negative messages from America's places of worship" contribute to the suicides of gay youth. Sounds like it's time for religious groups to start making change from within.

Generations At Odds: The Millennial Generation And The Future Of Gay And Lesbian Rights [Public Religion Research Institute]