Younger religious adherents are more liberal than their elders

A study conducted by Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI) revealed a majority of religious groups now have no objection to the legalization of same-sex marriage . This survey was done in 2017 and had about 40,000 respondents. 61 percent of Americans are in favor of same-sex marriage. The opposition could muster up only 30 percent.

The study showed that partisan gaps continue to exist, even at the time when the American public is openly supportive of such policies. Same-sex marriages are favored by 73 percent of Democrats and 66 percent of Independents. In contrast, only 42 percent of Republicans are in favor of a marriage between two members of the same sex. This opposition, however, is restricted to conservative Republicans. About 59 percent and 58 percent of moderate and liberal Republicans are in favor of same-sex marriages. This is in contrast with 36 percent of conservative GOPs. Opposition to gay marriage comes from about 58 percent of conservative Republicans.

When it comes to religious groups, support towards same-sex marriage is strongest among members of politically liberal religious groups. Among Jews, the number supporting gay marriage is 77 percent. About 80 percent of unaffiliated and 97 percent of Unitarians favor same-sex marriage. The span of support also extends to the politically diverse religious groups. About two-thirds of white mainline Protestants, Catholics, and Orthodox Christians now say they favor gay marriage.

There are exceptions too. Opposition comes from Mormons and white evangelicals. Those who support marriage between the same sex are a minority in these two Christian denominations. Only 40 percent of the Mormons and 34 percent of the white evangelicals are in favor of gay marriage. However, it is to be noted that even among these groups, the pro-gay marriage percentage is inching up. The proof is in the numbers. Opposition towards gay marriage went down by double digits from 2013. Among white evangelicals, it is now 58 percent. About 53 percent of Mormons now oppose gay marriage. It is seen that younger Mormons and evangelicals support marriage between same sexes much more compared to their elderly counterparts.

The PRRI study also showed that 60 percent of polled Americans oppose any idea of service refusals due to religious prejudice. Black Protestants were the most vocal on this issue. About 65 percent of them said business owners must not have any option of denying any service to their LGBT customers.

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