Catholics in a New ABC News/Washington Post Survey Poll 10% Higher
Than National Average and Show Faster Growing Support Than Nation at Large
WASHINGTON - Catholics for Equality, a national organization of Catholics who put their faith into ethical and effective political action on behalf of the LGBT community and their families, applauds an ABC News / Washington Post poll released today showing that 63% of American Catholics believe it should be legal for gay and lesbian couples to marry. This is 10% higher than the national sample and shows a more rapid rate of acceptance by Catholics than most Americans.
In the Poll, conducted by Langer Research Associates, 53% of Americans now support civil marriage for gay and lesbian couples. This is a dramatic increase of 21 points from the same poll's 32% finding in 2004. In both the 2004 and today's polls, American Catholics show a higher rate of support and more rapid rate of acceptance. Today's report that 63% of Catholics support civil marriage marks a 23 point increase from the 2004 poll's 40% finding.
The poll also shows American Catholics consistently support same gender marriage more than other Protestant faith communities and Evangelicals. Evangelicals in the poll showed only 23% supporting, and while non-Evangelical Protestants polled higher than the national average, but their 57% support fell 6 points shy of the 63% of Catholic support.
"The findings of today's poll are heartening, but not surprising," said Catholics for Equality Executive Director Phil Attey. "American Catholics consistently poll higher on progressive social justice issues - including the freedom to marry for all. Our Catholic faith tradition is strongly based on social justice and our duty to take care of those who are unjustly oppressed and marginalized."
"Our families have already dealt with this issue at a personal level and Catholics largely base their moral understanding of the world through their personal relationships, not by the dictates of institutional forces; be they from our church hierarchy in Rome or conservative political groups. We see healthy, happy gay and lesbian families within our families, parishes and communities and we know love and commitment when we see it. On the issue of civil marriage equality, we Catholics support the freedom for gay and lesbian couples to marry. Period."