WASHINGTON (RNS) Nearly two-thirds of Americans believe legalized same-sex marriage in the U.S. is inevitable, according to a study by LifeWay Research, a Nashville polling firm with ties to the Southern Baptist Convention.

gay views

Nearly two-thirds of Americans believe legalized same-sex marriage in the U.S. is inevitable, according to a study by LifeWay Research, a Nashville polling firm with ties to the Southern Baptist Convention. Photo courtesy Shutterstock.com

But for some respondents, inevitability doesn’t equal approval.

According to the findings, 64 percent of American adults believe same-sex marriage will become legal, whether or not they believe in it.

“We’re kind of in a national conversation about not just the issue of marriage and homosexuality, but really how our culture responds both to shifting views on the issue and views that aren’t shifting,” said Ed Stetzer, the president of LifeWay Research.

According to a poll from last November, by the Pew Forum of Religion & Public Life, 48 percent of Americans support same-sex marriage, up from 35 percent in 2001. A Gallup poll last December showed that 53 percent of Americans support gay marriage.

Christians, however, are split on their support of gay marriage. Only 19 percent of white evangelical Protestants favor gay marriage, according to the Pew poll; Catholics are the most in favor of same-sex marriage among Christian groups, at 54 percent.

Fred Sainz, vice president of communications for the Human Rights Campaign, said gay marriage is no longer a question of if, but when. “These are no longer assertions, they’re verifiable conclusions,” Sainz said.

But not everyone agrees that same-sex marriage is a sure thing.

Ryan Anderson, a fellow of the conservative Heritage Foundation, said that not everyone understands the issue, which means they can’t be certain.

“There hasn’t been effective articulation for the case, for traditional marriage. We’re just now having a national conversation of what marriage is,” Anderson said. “No one knows what the consequences of redefining it are.”

Nine states and the District of Columbia have already legalized gay marriage, and the Illinois Senate recently passed a bill to do the same. In addition, 11 other states allow civil unions or domestic partnerships.

The LifeWay poll also found that a majority — 58 percent — of respondents believe gay marriage is a civil rights issue.

The survey asked people whether various individuals or companies should be able to refuse services to same-sex couples. Sixty-three percent said clergy should be allowed to say no, and 58 percent said the same for photographers. Minorities of Americans believe that rental companies (40 percent), landlords (20 percent) or employers (14 percent) should be allowed to discriminate against gay couples.

There are currently no federal laws that prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation. However, 21 states and the District of Columbia have laws that prohibit employment and housing discrimination based on sexual orientation.

The issue of same-sex marriage will come to a head later this month, when the Supreme Court hears arguments against California’s Proposition 8 that banned gay marriage and the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act, which prohibits the federal government from recognizing gay marriages.

The LifeWay poll of 1,191 U.S. adults has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.9 percentage points.

6 Comments

  1. Re: “Ryan Anderson, a fellow of the conservative Heritage Foundation, said that not everyone understands the issue, which means they can’t be certain.”

    Not ‘understanding the issue’ sure as Hades hasn’t stopped them from opining on the subject, has it?

    Re: “There hasn’t been effective articulation for the case, for traditional marriage.”

    Well, that’s debatable at best. But if the case “for traditional marriage” hasn’t been made, who’s fault is that? One would get the impression that “traditional marriage” is somehow endangered by allowing non-traditional couples to marry. It isn’t. Gay couples have been getting married in the U.S. for nine years and not one single str8 couple has been denied the right to a civil marriage. Not. One.

    Re: “We’re just now having a national conversation of what marriage is,” Anderson said. “No one knows what the consequences of redefining it are.”

    Blarney! Just ‘stuff and nonsense’. Same gender couples marrying has been happening legally since Jan. 14, 2011 in Canada (as in more than a dozen years already), and no observable ‘consequences’ – dire or benign – have struck any country that has permitted them.

    It may help if people were to think of it as ‘expanding the definition’. When one adds an addition to a house, one adds value to it.

  2. KOWOLLR@GMAIL.COM

    If you read and believe in the Bible, two things raised God’s ire in the OT.
    Child sacrifce (I would call it an analogy to abortion) and homosexuality (God destroyed Sodom and Gommorah because men were laying with men as if they were women.)
    I believe that America’s fortunes have declined by biblical proportions since Roe v Wade and the beginning acceptance of homosexuality. We have been visited with plagues – AIDS and drought. We lost Viet Nam, and have been at war for over 10 years without defeating an enemy who has no planes, tanks, artillery, missles,etc. Aditiionally, we have been powerless against the onslought of an invasion of illegal aliens to the point that our stores are bilingual and we have vast communities of people who do not assimilate or even speak our language.
    We need to wake up. Renounce liberalism for what it is – acceptance of amoral behaviour and values. Repent as the people of Ninveh did to stay the hand of God’s justice.
    Just my opinion. However those who do no learn from history are doomed to repeat it.

    • Re: “God destroyed Sodom and Gommorah because men were laying with men as if they were women”

      That is not correct. Red Ezekiel for the REAL reason Sodom was destroyed.

      Your religious prejudices are vile.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Comments with many links may be automatically held for moderation.