Biden's support for gay marriage matches most Catholics' views
Vice President Joe Biden went further than President Barack Obama has on supporting gay marriage.
May 7th, 2012
07:28 AM ET

Biden's support for gay marriage matches most Catholics' views

By Dan Gilgoff, CNN.com Religion Editor

(CNN) - Apparent White House division over gay marriage - with Vice President Joe Biden saying Sunday that he is “absolutely comfortable” with the idea, going further than President Obama has on the issue – mirrors a nation that is evenly divided on the matter. Recent polls show that about half of Americans favor legalized gay marriage, while half oppose it, with support for the idea gaining significant ground over the past 15 years.

Pew’s latest polling on the issue, conducted late last year, found that 46% of Americans support favor allowing gays and lesbians to marry legally, while 44% are opposed. Support for gay civil unions is substantially higher, with a clear majority of Americans supporting such arrangements.

Feelings about gay marriage correlate to various religious traditions and levels of religiosity, with those nonaffiliated with any religion most supportive of gay marriage. It’s worth noting the dramatic recent shifts on the issue among Roman Catholics, whose ranks include Biden.

Despite the Roman Catholic Church’s rigorous opposition to gays getting the right to marry, Pew found that Catholics support gay marriage by a margin of 52% to 37%. That’s a shift from 2010, when just 46% of Catholics favored gay marriage.

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Among white Catholics, support is even higher at 57%, while Hispanic Catholics are evenly divided.

The religious group most opposed to gay marriage is white evangelical Protestants, among whom 74% oppose it, according to Pew. Sixty-two percent of black Protestants, a key part of President Obama’s political base, also oppose gay marriage.

After Biden voiced support for gay marriage, a senior Obama campaign adviser said there was no difference on the issue between the vice president and the president, who once said he opposed gay marriage but has since said his views on the matter are “evolving.”

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"What the VP said - that all married couples should have the same legal rights - is (precisely) POTUS' position," said David Axelrod, a senior adviser to Obama's re-election campaign, in a Twitter message.

The issue has gotten attention recently as North Carolinians prepare to vote Tuesday on a ballot initiative that would amend the state constitution to ban gay marriage, reinforcing a state law banning such unions. The Rev. Billy Graham has endorsed the measure, while former President Bill Clinton has taped a robo call opposing it.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: 2012 Election • Gay marriage • Politics

soundoff (921 Responses)
  1. Jack Inzalings

    It is not found in the 10 commandments and there are hundreds of warnings by Jesus that are not IN THE 10
    COMMANDMENTS..you obviously have not read your Bible. Introduce yourself to the Scriptures you might be
    surprised to know that Jesus told us the GREATEST COMMANDMENT IS "LOVE THY NEIGHBOR" but he didn't
    say sleep with them.

    September 16, 2012 at 3:13 pm |
  2. GGJP

    Marriage is not a purely secular issue as stated in an earlier post; marriage was created by God between one man and one woman. The Bible further instructs that "...a man shall not lie with a man as he does with a woman". How much clearer can it be? For those who think the Bible is an outdated book with no relevance to the world of today; people have not changed since our creation. We are the same now as then; again from the Bible "...there is nothing new under the sun". So it is an extremely relevant book which has much to teach us all.

    September 13, 2012 at 12:53 pm |
  3. Globug

    Catholics DO NOT believe in gay marriage. They believe in traditional marriage as outlined in the Scripture between a man and a woman. They do not condemn gays, nor anyone else and teach tolerance for everyone.

    September 2, 2012 at 4:06 pm |
    • Jack Inzalings

      The Chritian Bible tells us that Jesus is firmly condemning men lying with men and women lying with women. If Catholics'
      disagree with their Church's condemnation of gay marriage...that does not change Jesus's warning one iota. Many
      Christians call themselves Christians, you can call yourself Mickey Mouse, but that doesn't make you Mickey Mouse.
      If you are an attorney and you don't know anything about the Law and haven't passed the Bar, you can't call yourself
      an attorney...IT AIN'T WHAT YOU SAY , IT'S WHAT YOU DO..how hard is that to understand. It's OBAMA or JESUS. CALL IT.

      September 16, 2012 at 2:54 pm |
  4. Gbug

    Catholics DO NOT support gay marriage. They believe in the traditional union between a man and a woman....but they do teach tolerance and respect for all persons.

    September 2, 2012 at 4:01 pm |
    • Jack Inzalings

      catholics who use the OUT that they don't condone Gay marriage but they do practice tolerance!!!! Would they teach
      their children to tolerate men sleeping with me and women with women..and more important it's like telling their supreme
      head JESUS CHRIST..Jesus you condemn gay marriage, but we will tolerate it anyway, because we are such kind
      people...what do you think the Lord's judgement is a chess game . You can't pick and choose whate Jesus taught ..
      so you can be politicaly correct..you really can, but, you will stand before the lord on Judgement..a dangerous trade off.

      September 16, 2012 at 3:00 pm |
  5. Racielr Sallsa

    naturally like your web-site but you have to take a look at the spelling on several of your posts. Several of them are rife with spelling problems and I in finding it very bothersome to tell the reality nevertheless I'll definitely come back again.

    July 25, 2012 at 4:50 am |
  6. Agnidnam

    IHonestly, these statistics are probably overblown. I don't see any sources of knowledge, or mention how they were acquired, or the process which was undertaken to determine these statistics; especially the ones showing the percent of Roman Catholics which approve of Gay Marriage. What'a farce. Second of all, you should have the right to marry whomever you want to marry under a true secular government, which entails that ours isn't totally a true secular government.

    I want to see Biden get the Pope on board, first.

    July 19, 2012 at 1:58 am |
  7. dee

    Men didn't write the bible. God did. So actually you do believe in the rules of men because man has made you believe God doesn't exist.

    May 11, 2012 at 1:41 am |
  8. cbus

    Banning gay marriage is the Bishops' obsession. Most Catholics don't care one way or the other. In my opinion, it is a purely secular issue and should remain so. Personally, I don't support it, but can not find any reason beyond religious reasons to ban it, so it must remain a personal choice. God's greatest gift is free will, so who are we to infringe upon that?

    May 9, 2012 at 5:33 pm |
    • Carlos

      All 'Catholics' do care. Its all the make believe Catholics don't care one way another.

      June 24, 2012 at 8:11 pm |
    • Jack Inzalings

      God's greatest gift is not FREE WILL.. God's greates gift was sending his Son Jesus to die for your sins and mine...
      I keep wondering why people quote things without a notion of what is written in Scripture. It's analagous to many
      people saying MONEY IS THE ROOT OF ALL EVIL...this is one of the misinformation sayings..It is

      September 16, 2012 at 3:19 pm |
  9. Omar

    Catholic teaching is ungodly. it is no surprise.

    May 9, 2012 at 10:41 am |
    • Sean

      Whether or not Catholic teaching is "ungodly", its teachings have nothing to do with the opinion of the majority.

      May 9, 2012 at 5:45 pm |
  10. Kay

    Obviously the polls are incorrect because the majority of states are voting that marriage is between a man and a woman.

    May 9, 2012 at 9:16 am |
  11. LJDD

    iam in support of Gay marriage. we are all equals. so everyone should be treated the same. no human should judge another human in any way. we shall be judge once, and that shall be by God alone

    May 9, 2012 at 7:14 am |
    • Kay

      If you believe in God than you believe in his rules. It's not a matter of judging. It's a matter of not accepting something that is against the teachings of God.

      May 9, 2012 at 9:20 am |
    • EnjaySea

      Simple solution to the problem Kay, I don't believe in god, or the rules that men have written and then attributed to their invented deity. I don't automatically respect the laws of men, just because they've been written down. They must also be just.

      May 9, 2012 at 11:42 am |
    • Thomas


      Can you point out the rule in your 10 commandments?

      May 9, 2012 at 12:21 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.