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October 13th, 2010
12:36 PM ET

U.S. support for gay marriage rises steadily

American support for same-sex marriage is rising steadily - and conservative Protestants seem to be the last religious group holding out against it, a large new poll suggests.

Nearly six out of 10 white evangelicals were against gay marriage, and just over five out of 10 black Protestants opposed it, the Public Religion Research Institute announced Wednesday.

But among Catholics and members of so-called "mainline" Protestant churches, more people favored gay marriage than opposed it.

People not affiliated with any religion back gay marriage by a 4-to-1 ratio, the 2010 American Values Survey found.

Among all Americans, backing for allowing gay and lesbian marriages rose from 29 percent in 2008 to 37 percent today.

And a majority of young people back gay marriage, their survey found - 52 percent of 18-29 year-olds are in favor, while another 23 percent support civil unions.

The results mirror similar findings from another recent survey.

The Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life, another Washington think tank, found last week that 42 percent of Americans favored gay marriage, while 48 percent opposed it.

It was the first time in the 15-year history of the Pew Forum asking the question that opposition to gay marriage fell below 50 percent, the think tank said.

Pew asked if people favored gay marriage or opposed it. The Public Religion Research Institute asked a slightly different question: whether respondents favor gay marriage, civil unions, or opposed both.

The institute revealed its findings as it unveiled new information from its 2010 American Values Survey, a telephone poll of 3,013 American adults conducted from September 1-14.

Initial findings from the survey came out last week, and suggested that the Tea Party and the Christian conservative movement have more in common than conventional wisdom held.

Americans are aware that their views on gay marriage are shifting, they told the Public Research Religion Insititute.

About two out of 10 said they had become more supportive of gay and lesbian rights over time. About one in 20 said they had become less so, while 73 percent said their views had not changed.

Views on abortion, another hot-button "moral" issue, are more stable, the survey found.

Seven out of 100 people said they had become more supportive of abortion rights. Exactly the same number said they had become less so, while 85 percent said their views had not changed.

White evangelical Protestants, the group most opposed to gay marriage according to the American Values Survey, make up just over a quarter of the U.S. population, the Pew Forum's U.S Religious Landscape Survey says.

The American Values Survey confirmed that there's a sharp political divide between black and white conservative Protestants, despite their agreement on gay marriage.

Seven out of 10 white evangelicals are Republicans, while nine out of 10 black Protestants are Democrats.

More than six out of 10 white evangelicals say they would be less likely to vote for a candidate who supports abortion rights, while about three out of 10 black Protestants say that.

- Newsdesk editor, The CNN Wire

Filed under: Gay marriage • Polls • United States

soundoff (106 Responses)
  1. Ear Infection Treatment

    i think that gay marriage should be allowed in certain states but not in other states ,""

    December 1, 2010 at 2:48 pm |
  2. Hockey_fan

    Another thing I find interesting is that, from a religious standpoint anyways, it is the se-ual act that is so abhorred by people, yet they fail to address the fact that straight couples do the very same acts ALL THE TIME! So if it really is the act that your against and not the people, why aren't you protesting straight marriages too because it happens all the time.

    October 18, 2010 at 10:34 pm |
  3. Hockey_fan

    How long is it going to take before the people arguing against gay marriage because of religion going to understand WE ALREADY KNOW WHY YOU DON"T APPROVE, however we don't care!!! Just like you don't care that I DON"T APPROVE OF YOUR RELIGION. The only differece is, I'm not trying to make your religion illegal. and don't get me wrong I am not in any way saying that I don't believe in God, because I do; however religion and the bible are all man made ways to control people, and if you can't see that, its no surprise, because religions intentionally teach you NOT TO THINK FOR YOURSELVES. But I will forever support your right to whichever religion, no matter how ridiculous or disgusting I personally find it. Also I should clarify that when I say "we" I mean people fighting for equalilty because I myself am a straight woman.

    October 18, 2010 at 10:28 pm |
    • MLB

      Man, I meant I live in Alabama not "I'm live in Alabama" – I originally said I'm from Alabama but I am SO not. Now I'm typing like I am though, apparently. Dear God, if you are real, help me get to a blue state with a quickness. TY

      May 13, 2011 at 8:28 pm |
  4. geraldh

    Gays will never be married on God's eyes which is really what counts. You cant call evil good all you want but that won't change the reality.

    October 16, 2010 at 12:24 pm |
  5. Muneef

    Diseases of your corrupted societies that you can not control are being transmited and penetrated our societies either by Media or Propaganda being a super power makes you a major capital of the world , Om Alqorra, Mother of villages was said in the Quran which will follow with verses about it.

    October 15, 2010 at 6:40 pm |
    • Muneef

      In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful
      And this is a blessed Scripture which We have revealed, confirming that which (was revealed) before it, that thou mayst warn the Mother of Villages and those around her. Those who believe in the Hereafter believe herein, and they are careful of their worship. (92) 
      Sura 06:92

      In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful
      Mîm (1) Aîn¬Sîn¬Qâf. [These letters are one of the miracles of the Qur'ân, and none but Allâh (Alone) knows their meanings] (2) Likewise Allâh, the All-Mighty, the All-Wise sends Revelation to you (SAW) as (He sent Revelation to) those before you.[ (3) To Him belongs all that is in the heavens and all that is in the earth, and He is the Most High, the Most Great. (4) Nearly the heavens might be rent asunder from above them (by His Majesty), and the angels glorify the praises of their Lord, and ask for forgiveness for those on the earth, verily, Allâh is the Oft-Forgiving, the Most Merciful. (5) And as for those who take as Auliyâ' (guardians, supporters, helpers, lord, gods, protectors) others besides Him [i.e. they take false deities other than Allâh as protectors, and they worship them] Allâh is Hafîz (Protector, Watcher) over them (i.e. takes care of their deeds and will recompense them), and you (O Muhammad SAW) are not a Wakîl (guardian or a disposer of their affairs) over them (to protect their deeds). (6) And thus We have revealed unto you (O Muhammad SAW) a Qur'ân in Arabic that you may warn the Mother of the Towns (Makkah) and all around it. and warn (them) of the Day of Assembling, of which there is no doubt, when a party will be in Paradise (those who believed in Allâh and followed what Allâh's Messenger SAW brought them) and a party in the blazing Fire (Hell) (those who disbelieved in Allâh and followed not what Allâh's Messenger SAW brought them)[]. (7)And if Allâh had willed, He could have made them one nation, but He admits whom He wills to His Mercy. And the Zâlimûn (polytheists and wrong-doers) will have neither a Walî (protector, or guardian) nor a helper. (8) Or have they taken (for worship) Auliyâ' (guardians, supporters, helpers, protectors, lords, gods) besides Him? But Allâh, He Alone is the Walî (Lord, God, Protector). And it is He Who gives life to the dead, and He is Able to do all things. (9) And in whatsoever you differ, the decision thereof is with Allâh (He is the ruling Judge). (And say O Muhammad SAW to these polytheists:) Such is Allâh, my Lord in Whom I put my trust, and to Him I turn (in all of my affairs and) in repentance. (10)The Creator of the heavens and the earth. He has made for you mates from yourselves, and for the cattle (also) mates. By this means He creates you (in the wombs). There is nothing like Him, and He is the All-Hearer, the All-Seer. (11) To Him belong the keys of the heavens and the earth, He enlarges provision for whom He wills, and straitens (it for whom He wills). Verily! He is the All-Knower of everything. (12)
      Sura 42:01 to 12

      In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful
      He (Allâh) has ordained for you the same religion (Islâmic Monothesim) which He ordained for Nûh (Noah), and that which We have revealed to you (O Muhammad SAW), and that which We ordained for Ibrahîm (Abraham), Mûsa (Moses) and 'Īsā (Jesus) saying you should establish religion (i.e. to do what it orders you to do practically), and make no divisions[] in it (religion) (i.e. various sects in religion). Intolerable for the Mushrikûn[] , is that (Islâmic Monothesim) to which you (O Muhammad SAW) call them. Allâh chooses for Himself whom He wills, and guides unto Himself who turns to Him in repentance and in obedience. (13) And they divided not till after knowledge had come to them, through (selfish) transgression between themselves. And had it not been for a Word that went forth before from your Lord for an appointed term, the matter would have been settled between them. And verily, those who were made to inherit the Scripture [i.e. the Taurâh (Torah) and the Injeel (Gospel)] after them (i.e. Jews and Christians) are in grave doubt concerning it (i.e. Allâh's true religion — Islâm or the Qur'ân). (14) So unto this (religion of Islâm alone and this Qur’ân) then invite (people) (O Muhammad SAW), and stand firm [on Islâmic Monotheism by performing all that is ordained by Allâh (good deeds), and by abstaining from all that is forbidden by Allâh (sins and evil deeds)], as you are commanded, and follow not their desires but say: "I believe in whatsoever Allâh has sent down of the Book [all the holy Books, – this Qur’ân and the Books of the old from the Taurât (Torah), or the Injeel (Gospel) or the Pages of Ibrâhîm (Abraham)] and I am commanded to do justice among you. Allâh is our Lord and your Lord. For us our deeds and for you your deeds. There is no dispute between us and you. Allâh will assemble us (all), and to Him is the final return." (15)
      Sura 42:13 to 15   

      October 15, 2010 at 7:09 pm |
  6. AnatomyScientist

    I agree Muneef! Thanks!

    October 14, 2010 at 10:42 pm |
  7. AnatomyScientist

    Being G-A_Y is one thing, acting upon it is another. If you feel like a dog, you don't need to go aroung barking.
    Man was created to be with a woman.
    Man on Man or woman on woman is disgusting, and turns my stomach. Sorry,
    You gender was such (without any God) designed to "hook up". You can't do that with 2 of the same anatomy, unless you are using your body for lust, period. Truth is not popular, and it hurts, but it is fact.

    October 14, 2010 at 8:53 pm |
    • Muneef

      Truth is not popular , and it hurts, but it is fact.

      You are right about that so much. Listen we might all have the problem in our countries even for Islamic countries moderate or extreme but they are a hidden habits and what ever comes out of privacy in to public then the excution might take place.
      This is better way rather than being publicly open like that and now reaching to the level of become an officially certified relation as husband and wife between gays or lesbians? These are weaknesses and shameful so it should not be openly allowed since that would attract and waste many more in to it? Will try to qoute for you few verses about the people of prophet Lut from the Quran where it speaks of such wasted people.

      October 14, 2010 at 9:09 pm |
    • Muneef

      Well it seems that now they have learnt to flag the Quran verses stating comment is awaiting moderation,strange really unless because this one had the name Pal,estine mentioned in it?
      The place of the so called people of Lut were located in the dead sea area extending between Jor,dan Pal,estine before it became as it is today because of what has happened to them.
      Any way you can see same at the quranexplorer
      Sura 07:80 to 84
      sura 27:54 to 58
      Sura 26:160 to 175

      October 14, 2010 at 9:37 pm |
    • civilioutside

      "...unless you a using your body for lust, period."

      Load of bunk, that is. Se-x is complicated, and while most certainly a source of great physical pleasure, it can *also* be an extremely effective method of reinforcing deep emotional bonds. Not simply lust, but a meaningful sharing of experience. Frankly, it's none of my business if someone chooses to share those bonds with someone of the same gender, nor should it be any of yours. This notion that se-x can only be used for pure procreation or pure lust, and can mean nothing else, is the real perversion.

      November 30, 2010 at 1:11 pm |
  8. Awakening

    Mayby you all should read this http://www.thewatcherfiles.com/bluebeam.html Project Blue Beam

    What is important to understand in the first step is that those earthquakes will hit at different parts of the world where scientific and archeological teachings have indicated that arcane mysteries have been buried. By those types of earthquakes, it will possible for scientists to re-discover those arcane mysteries which will be used to discredit all fundamental religious doctrines. This is the first preparation for the plan for humanity because what they want to do is destroy the beliefs of all Christians and Muslims on the planet. To do that, they need some false "proof" from the far past that will prove to all nations that their religions have all been misinterpreted and misunderstoodhe first step concerns the breakdown of all archeological
    knowledge. It deals with the setup with artificially created earthquakes at certain precise locations on the planet where, supposedly, new discoveries will finally explain to all people the error of all fundamental religious doctrines. The falsification of this information will be used to make all nations believe that their religious doctrines have been misunderstood for centuries and misinterpreted. Psychological preparations for that first step have already been implemented with the film, "2001: A Space Oddessy;" the StarTrek series, and "Star Wars;" all of which deal with invasions from space and the coming together of all nations to repel the invaders. The last films, "Jurrassic Park," deals with the theories of evolution, and claim God's words are lies.

    Now figure out when we hear that voice from the new world messiah who would be speaking from space to all of the sane people of the earth who might give instructions to zealots and religious fanatics, we would see hysteria and social mayhem on a scale never witnessed before on this planet. No police forces in the world, even as a combined front, could deal with the disorder that will follow!

    October 14, 2010 at 8:48 pm |
  9. Michelle

    so how much do your own leaders of the church follow the bible?

    October 14, 2010 at 4:20 pm |
  10. Michelle

    I got one question for the church going people, if gaysand the act of gay is bad, Then why do we have all these pastors and catholics, ABUSING boys, its a gay act. why are they still in your chruches. WE AS GAYS AND LESBAINS ARE NOT HURTING OR TOUCHING KIDS. its the so called straight pastor or clergy. and these churches hide this and the offenders.

    October 14, 2010 at 4:19 pm |
    • CatholicMom

      Michelle,

      People need to stop referring to gay people as being ‘bad’. The person is not bad because of their s3xual orientation; you are not bad because of yours, no matter what it is.

      Pastors who abuse boys are sinning; it is the act that is sinful. They may be hiding but they are being found out and they will be out of the Church as soon as it is proven they did such things.

      Those who point fingers at innocent people whether they are gay or not are sinning by means of bullying or unjust accusations. Why are these acts of bullying and false accusations so hurtful? Because it is an act that no one wants to be accused of.

      Just because someone is gay does not mean that they are participating in those acts.

      October 15, 2010 at 11:51 am |
    • Muneef

      Well guess there should be a change that allows pasters,priests or sisters,mothers or what ever you call them serving the church to get married and not with out husband and wife since they are only humans and have human needs and keeping them singals as males and females drive them to wrong doings at these weakest moments of Humans Needs!
      In Islam marriage is considered as half of the Religion and the other half is Pilgrimage,Hajj to Mecca! Doesn't matter which comes first but a man is complete as a one full moon only if did both!
      So please have mercy on those poor things otherwise their lives are burnt for nothing since God did not say so beside that they may contribute for more gays and lesbians into your Society?
      May God forgive me.

      October 15, 2010 at 3:47 pm |
    • CatholicMom

      Muneef,

      Being single in life does not cause people to become gays or lesbians. But being gay or lesbian is not a sin. Actions that people do as single persons or as married persons that does not follow the will of God is sin…being people is not sinful!

      October 16, 2010 at 11:37 am |
  11. tasia22

    I do not believe in gay marriage. I believe marriage is between a man and woman. Instead of focusing on issue's like gay marriage this country needs to focus more on important issues like the rights of unborn babies at risk of being aborted. Marriage is between a man and a woman this is how it was intended since the beginning of time and this is how it should stay.

    October 14, 2010 at 3:15 pm |
    • Sobes

      Abortion is a whole different issue. Unborn babies are NOT alive, therefore it is NOT murder. If it were your sister or your closest female friend who could not financially support a baby, what would you do? What if she had a health problem that could complicate pregnancy and threaten her life? Would you want her to risk death for something that is not alive? It's like killing yourself because of a tree or a rock.

      November 30, 2010 at 1:00 pm |
  12. jouque

    I have no problrm with gay people living and enjoying their lives together but I don't think it should be called marriage. something else I think gay people should enjoy the rights we do but I also want my children to clearly understand it is not natural nor productive. 1 I want gramdchildren 2. to me it is an abomination but I don't hate them for it

    October 14, 2010 at 2:48 pm |
    • Muneef

      Oh dear in the end neighboring them it is you would become like them or your Children or Grand Children wouldn't you mind that,would you now? It becomes an addiction and wouldn't like the rightful thing but would prefer to remain in the wrong.
      It is only such acts that has transmited many illnesses and viruses that ended in to Becoming Aids.
      Although surely these came in to it because they were molested when were young or if have more feminine than muscline genes.

      October 14, 2010 at 3:26 pm |
    • Sobes

      Why is it not "natural"? Because God said so? If God really hated the idea of gay marriage, wouldn't he just strike all the gay people down with a lightning bolt or put a magic God spell on them to make them not gay? If God loves all, he loves ALL FOR WHO THEY ARE.

      November 30, 2010 at 12:56 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.