'Remarkable shift' in support for same-sex marriage
A US study has found that over half of Americans are in favour of same-sex marriage.
The survey by the Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI) found that 53 per cent of those surveyed supported same-sex marriage, a substantial increase over a decade compared with the 32 per cent in favour when survey in 2003.
The highest support came from Jewish Americans (83 per cent), white mainstream Protestants (62 per cent), white Catholics (58 per cent), and Hispanic Catholics (56 per cent). The Hispanic Protestants were split almost down the middle, with 46 per cent saying they were in favour of same-sex marriage and 49 per cent opposed.
PRRI Chief Executive Robert Jones said the result was similar to other surveys also indicating a majority of Americans supporting same-sex marriage.
Jones said an increase in public support in a decade on any issue to that level was rare and showed a “remarkable shift” in public attitudes.
The increase in support for marriage equality is explained by an increasing numbers of heterosexuals who say they have a close friend or relative who is gay or lesbian and a large proportion of Americans in their 20s and early 30s who reject a religion they consider to be homophobic.
“This new research provides further evidence that negative teachings on this issue have hurt churches' ability to attract and retain young people,” Jones said.