Among born-again, evangelical or fundamentalist Christians, only 50% agreed that SSM is inevitable. Women, persons with college degrees, and young adults aged 18 to 29 were more likely to agree that homosexuality is a civil rights issue.
Participants in the survey were also asked whether individuals and companies should be allowed to discriminate with impunity against same-sex couples or on the basis of a person's "sexual preference" 2 if SSM becomes legal in their state:
Ed Stetzer, president of LifeWay Research, said:
Requiring clergy to officiate at SSMs is not really an option in the U.S. The First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution guarantees a wall of separation between religion and government. This is often referred to as "separation of church and state." Thus, religious groups and clergy can freely discriminate in deciding which couples they will marry. Faith groups have historically discriminated against interracial couples, couples who are judged to be not sufficiently mature, couples where one partner was of another denomination or religion, ( in the case of the Roman Catholic Church) against couples where one partner was infertile because of a physical disability, and for many other reasons. To our knowledge, no member of the clergy has been sued or charged with a crime for this form of discrimination. Certainly, none has ever been convicted.
Gallup conducted a large survey of 2,027 randomly chosen American adults between 2013-JUL-10 and 14. The margin of error is ±2.2 percentage points. Subjects were asked how they would vote if a national referendum on same-sex marriage was held. The question asked was:
Whether a person supports or opposes SSM depends largely on their political bent, religious affiliation & beliefs, and the political party they support.
Groups that would be most supportive of such a law include liberals (77% in favor/19% opposed); NOTAS -- those NOT Affiliated with a religious group (76%/18%), Democrats (70%/28%), 18 to 34 years-of-age (69%/37%); persons who never or rarely have attended church (67%/29%).
Groups most opposed to such a law include those who attend religious services weekly (23% in favor/73% opposed); conservatives (30%/67%); Republicans (30%/66%); Protestants (38%/58%); 55 years-of-age or older (38%/58%) and Southerners (43%/51%).
An unexpected result was the heavy support for SSM from Roman Catholics (60% in favor; 36% opposed) in spite of the total opposition to marriage equality by the Catholic hierarchy.
Even if such a national referendum were held, it could not be binding. That is because the U.S. Constitution gives full power to define who can and cannot marry to the individual states. That is why Section 3 of the federal DOMA law was declared unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court when it required the federal government to refuse to recognize same-sex marriages that had been legally solemnized in various states. It is also why the majority of members of Congress probably violated their oaths of office back in the Clinton era when they voted for the DOMA law even though they knew that it was unconstitutional because the federal government had no authority in defining marriage.
The group that maintains this web site does not normally engage in speculation. However we suspect that the surge in support for SSM may have been significantly impacted by two recent factors:
Both of these topics had wide support by the general public, and probably initiated a great deal of discussion and thinking by the general public about equal rights for lesbians, gays, bisexuals, and transgender persons (LGBT). This serious consideration may have influenced public support for same-sex marriage.
This topic continues in the next essay
The following information sources were used to prepare and update the above essay. The hyperlinks are not necessarily still accessible today.
Copyright © 2013 to 2017 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
This page translator works on Firefox,