Over the past month, several polls have confirmed what many previous polls have already shown: the Catholic laity support LGBT equality, including marriage equality.
In the most recent survey, a Quinnipiac poll released last week, Catholics outpace average Americans when it comes to marriage equality. According to Newsmax.com:
"While same sex unions are approved by 48 percent to 46 percent overall, Catholics give them the thumbs-up by 49 percent to 43 percent, the survey from Quinnipiac University found.“ 'It seems pretty clear that attitudes toward same-sex marriage in American society are changing rapidly,' said Peter Brown, the assistant director of the Connecticut university’s polling institute.“ 'While the country remains split on the issue, supporters have come pretty far in the last four years.' . . ."The biggest opposition among any group is with white Protestants who oppose it 63 percent to 32 percent."
A Public Religion Research Institute report confirms that Catholics are ahead of the average American population on marriage equality:
"A slim majority (52%) of Americans favor allowing gay and lesbian couples to marry, and 44% oppose."Among religious groups, majorities of Catholics (59%), white mainline Protestants (56%), and the unaffiliated (77%) favor allowing gay and lesbian couples to marry."
A recent survey of Catholics in Illinois, conducted by the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute at Southern Illinois University, showed an overwhelming majority support some form of legal relationship recognition for lesbian/gay couples. According toLGBTQNation.com:
". . . 81 percent of Catholics surveyed support either full marriage equality for gay and lesbian couples or the right to a civil union. Specifically, 39.9 percent said they support marriage rights and 40.1 percent said their position is for same-sex couples to have civil unions. Only 15.7 percent said there should be no legal recognition of same-sex relationships.". . . the same poll found that 43.6 percent of Illinois residents approve of full marriage equality, 31.8 percent preferred civil unions and 20.2 percent said there should be no legal recognition. In 2010, the same poll reported 33.6 percent of people were in favor of marriage rights."
The Illinois statistics are significant because that state, which already has a civil unions law, may well take up the discussion of a marriage equality law in 2013.
--Francis DeBernardo, New Ways Ministry