Poll: Protestant support for the freedom to marry rises

Posted by Audrey Barrick on christianpost.com:

"Forty-two percent favor allowing gays and lesbians to marry legally, up from 37 percent last year, according to the Pew Research Center's latest survey.

"Meanwhile, for the first time in 15 years, fewer than half oppose the freedom to marry. Forty-eight percent of Americans are now against equal marriage rights for same-sex couples, a dip from 54 percent the previous year.

"Notably, pluralities of white mainline Protestants and white Catholics now favor honoring marriages of same-sex couples – another first for the Pew Research Center.

"According to the poll, white mainline Protestants are more likely to support the freedom to marry (49 percent) than oppose it (38 percent). In the past two years, 49 percent had expressed opposition. Among those who attend church at least once a week, 35 percent favor gays and lesbians marrying.

"A similar shift is seen among Catholics. While opinion was more evenly divided over the past two years, today 49 percent favor marriage equality and 41 percent oppose.

"White evangelical Protestants, meanwhile, remain overwhelmingly opposed to equal rights for gay couples. Seventy-four percent are against it and 20 percent favor it. A majority of black Protestants also continue to oppose marriage equality.

"Evangelicals are also more likely than any other religious group to consider the issue of the freedom to marry as very important to their vote in the upcoming midterm elections.

... "Results for the 2010 surveys are based on two polls conducted over the past few months. Interviews were conducted with more than 6,000 adults."

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