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Research shows changes in attitudes

Where do you stand on same-sex marriage?


Newsweek’s Jason Le Meire reports that opposition to same-sex marriage has decreased across a broad swath of religious groups in the United States, with white evangelical Christians one of the few movements for which a majority remains in opposition.

Three years on from the Supreme Court ruling that same-sex couples should be allowed to marry, the findings from the Public Religion Research Institute’s 2017 American Values Atlas, published on May 8, showed growing support for LGBT rights, including a majority of U.S. Muslims backing same-sex marriage for the first time.

Muslims, by a margin of 51% to 34%, favor same-sex marriage, compared to just four years ago when a majority, 51%, were opposed. There were similar results for black Protestants, with 54% opposing gay marriage in PRRI’s 2014 American Values Atlas, compared with 43% in the latest findings.

Indeed, opposition to same-sex marriage is now limited almost entirely to white conservative Christians. Fifty-eight percent of white evangelical Christians and 53% of Mormons — an overwhelming majority of whom are white—are opposed to allowing gay couples to marry.

The group with the most opposition, though, is Jehovah’s Witnesses, a group which is 36% white, 32% Hispanic and 27% black in the U.S. Just 13% support the law.

As a whole, 63% of Americans now back allowing same-sex couples to marry, up from 52% four years ago. All major racial groups now have a majority in favor. Republicans, though, remain opposed, 51% to 42%.