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The results of the survey PRRI released yesterday were very bad news for organized religion and very good news for marriage equality. I urge you to take a look at it yourself. It finds young people deserting their childhood religion in large numbers because of their church's position on LGBT issues. It also reveals people have a perception that the resistance to gay equality is much stronger than it actually is. Here is the executive summary of the survey. It should make you say "winning".
- ��Today, roughly equal numbers of Americans say they strongly favor (22%) legalizing same-sex marriage as say they strongly oppose it (20%). By contrast, a decade earlier strong opponents (35%) outnumbered strong supporters (9%) by roughly a 4-to-1 ratio.
- ��Today, majorities of Americans in the Northeast (60%), West (58%), and Midwest (51%) favor allowing gay and lesbians to legally marry, while Southerners are evenly divided (48% favor, 48% oppose).
- ��Political divisions on the issue of same-sex marriage have widened over time. The gap in support for same-sex marriage between Democrats and Republicans has increased from 21 percentage points in 2003 to 30 points today. In 2003, roughly 4-in-10 Democrats (39%) and political independents (39%) favored same-sex marriage, compared to 18% of Republicans. Currently, nearly two-thirds (64%) of Democrats and nearly 6-in-10 (57%) independents support same-sex marriage, compared to only 34% of Republicans. More than 6-in-10 (62%) Republicans oppose same-sex marriage.
- ��In 2003, all major religious groups opposed same-sex marriage, with the exception of the religiously unaffiliated. Today, there are major religious groups on both sides of the issue. Religiously unaffiliated Americans (73%), white mainline Protestants (62%), white Catholics (58%), and Hispanic Catholics (56%) all favor allowing gay and lesbian couples to marry. A majority (83%) of Jewish Americans also favor legalizing same-sex marriage. Hispanic Protestants are divided; 46% favor allowing gay and lesbian couples to legally marry and 49% oppose. By contrast, nearly 7-in-10 (69%) white evangelical Protestants and nearly 6-in-10 (59%) black Protestants oppose same-sex marriage. Only 27% of white evangelical Protestants and 35% of black Protestants support same-sex marriage.
- ��Today, nearly 7-in-10 (69%) Millennials (ages 18 to 33) favor same-sex marriage, compared to 37% of Americans who are part of the Silent Generation (ages 68 and older). The generation gap today, or the difference in support for same-sex marriage between America’s youngest and oldest cohorts, is now 32 points, roughly as wide as it was in 2003.
- ��It is difficult to overstate the effect age has on support for same-sex marriage, which is evident even among groups that oppose same-sex marriage. Half (50%) of Millennial Republicans favor allowing gay and lesbian couples to marry, a view shared by only 18% of Republicans who are members of the Silent Generation.
- Nearly 6-in-10 (59%) black Millennials say gay and lesbian people should be allowed to legally marry, compared to only 39% of black Americans overall.
- White evangelical Protestant Millennials are more than twice as likely to favor same- sex marriage as the oldest generation of white evangelical Protestants (43% vs. 19%).
- ��Nearly two-thirds (65%) of Americans report having a close friend or family member who is gay or lesbian, nearly three times the number (22%) who reported having such a relationship in 1993. Americans who have a close friend or family member who is gay or lesbian are 27 points more likely than those who do not to favor allowing gay and lesbian couples to legally marry (63% vs. 36%). This “family and friends” effect is present across all major demographic, religious and political groups.
- ��About 6-in-10 (59%) white mainline Protestants believe their fellow congregants are mostly opposed to same-sex marriage. However, among white mainline Protestants who attend church regularly, only 36% oppose allowing gay and lesbian people to legally marry while a majority (57%) actually favor this policy.
- Roughly three-quarters (73%) of Catholics believe that most of their fellow congregants are opposed to same-sex marriage. However, Catholics who regularly attend church are in fact divided on the issue (50% favor, 45% oppose).
- ��Solid majorities of both political parties and every major religious group support workplace nondiscrimination laws for gay and lesbian people.
- ��Three-quarters (75%) of Americans incorrectly believe it is currently illegal under federal law to fire or refuse to hire someone because they are gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender. Only 15% of Americans correctly say that such discrimination is currently legal under federal law, while nearly 1-in-10 (9%) offer no opinion.
- ��Majorities of every generational cohort except the Silent Generation favor allowing gay and lesbian couples to adopt children. Seven-in-ten (70%) Millennials, 58% of Generation X, and 52% of Baby Boomers favor allowing gay and lesbian couples to adopt children. Among members of the Silent Generation, only 42% favor this policy while 49% are opposed.
- ��LGBT Americans are as likely as Americans overall (70%) to say that the Democratic Party is friendly toward LGBT people, compared to 20% who say the party is unfriendly. Fifteen percent of LGBT Americans think the Republican Party is friendly toward LGBT people, compared to more than 7-in-10 (72%) who say the GOP is unfriendly toward LGBT people.
- ��At least two-thirds of LGBT Americans perceive both the Catholic Church (73%) and evangelical Christian churches (67%) as being unfriendly toward LGBT people.
- ��Gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Americans are also far more likely than other Americans to report leaving their childhood religion. Like Americans overall, few LGBT Americans were raised outside a formal religious tradition (8% vs. 7%). However, nearly 4-in-10 (37%) LGBT Americans are now unaffiliated, compared to 21% of Americans. Overall, roughly 3-in-10 (31%) LGBT Americans left their childhood religion to become religiously unaffiliated.
- ��Roughly two-thirds (66%) of Americans agree bullying of gay and lesbian teenagers is a major problem in schools today, while nearly one-quarter (23%) disagrees. The belief that bullying of gay and lesbian youth is a major problem in schools is broadly shared across partisan and religious lines.
- ��Nearly two-thirds (65%) of Americans say that people with HIV or AIDS in the United States became infected because of irresponsible personal behavior, while just one-quarter (25%) say they became infected through no fault of their own.
- ��By contrast, only about 4-in-10 (41%) Americans believe that people who have contracted HIV in the developing world did so because of irresponsible behavior. Nearly half (48%) say they contracted the disease through no fault of their own.