Religion Primary Basis For Opposing Marriage Equality


From the Department of the Incredibly Obvious, a new Gallup poll shows that religion is far and away the biggest reason why some people oppose marriage equality. Not only is it a full 11% more than the second and third reasons put together, those reasons are also religious.

The poll also showed 53% support for marriage equality, which is the highest Gallup has ever measured. Other polls have found as high as 56%.

Comments

  1. says

    Well, technically “marriage should be between a man and woman” could be a secular policy statement. I mean, there are non-religious arguments against polygamy and polyandry – many having to do with the potential for exploitation of women in polygamy. (Note, I’m not necessarily convinced by such arguments, but they exist.)

    I’ve never heard a coherent argument for “only heterosexual marriage” that didn’t boil down to religion in the end. But I suppose it’s technically possible.

  2. says

    All of them except the Civil Union one are probably all based in religion. And that probably is, too, they just are in denial that it’s about religion.

  3. eric says

    I pedantically disagree with your last sentence. The second reason is not religious per se…its not a “reason” at all. Its merely a restatement of the opinion that the pollee opposes SSM.

    If the question is “why do you think vanilla ice cream should be outlawed,” the answer “because ice cream should be chocolate” is completely nonresponsive. There is no actual “why” given in such an answer.

  4. NitricAcid says

    Of course, reasons 2 and 3 don’t seem to be terribly divorced from religion. “Reason” 2 is simply restating the position- “I oppose marriage equality because I’m right, dammit!” doesn’t say anything about *why* they oppose marriage equality. “It’s morally wrong”, well, by what definition of morality? The religious one?

  5. jamessweet says

    Well, technically “marriage should be between a man and woman” could be a secular policy statement.

    I don’t think it’s even classifiable. I see now that eric has already beaten me to it while I was logging in to comment, but yeah… it’s just a restatement of the position, not an ostensible justification for it.

  6. TGAP Dad says

    The only more obvious headline I’ve ever seen was “Mob Ties Alleged in Jersey Politics!” Outside of religion, reasons for opposing marriage equality are virtually non-existent.

  7. eric says

    @2:

    All of them except the Civil Union one are probably all based in religion. And that probably is, too, they just are in denial that it’s about religion.

    There’s no need to assume deceit. That was 6% of respondents. The point is made even if such folk are sincere and secular.

  8. Michael Heath says

    After soliciting their answer on gay marriage, I wish these same pollsters would then quote the equal protection clause and get a response on why the anti-marriage advocates favor their religion over the Constitution.

  9. says

    Based on the sum of the percentages, I take it the respondents were able to include more than one reason why they opposed same-sex marriage. I’m probably putting some ignorance on display, but am I correct in assuming that’s what the “open-ended” thing refers to?

  10. Doug Little says

    I wish these same pollsters would then quote the equal protection clause and get a response on why the anti-marriage advocates favor their religion over the Constitution.

    That’s because the Constitution only applies when it supports their cause. They cherry pick their bible why not the Constitution as well.

  11. cjcolucci says

    While I never objected to same-sex marriage, I thought I was a “realist,” and supported civil unions for a while as the practical answer. I thought there was a deal to be made along those lines and would have urged people to accept it. But it takes two to make a deal, and the anti-SSM side wouldn’rt even nibble at that, so the hell with them.

  12. says


    “It’s morally wrong”, well, by what definition of morality? The religious one?”

    Oh, you silly secularist, there is no other kind of morality but religious, and that religion must be KKKristianity.

  13. Hercules Grytpype-Thynne says

    am I correct in assuming that’s what the “open-ended” thing refers to?

    “Open-ended” means the respondents got to answer in their own words, without having to choose from a list of possible responses provided by the pollster.

  14. evilDoug says

    “Undermines traditional family …” at 5% is the only line in the whole thing that I think reveals much: it reveals that even those who reject equality don’t do it on the basis that they believe it will cause the collapse of all that is good and wonderful, as the loud-mouthed preachers and other bigots keep telling everyone. Since the total sums to 110%, I am assuming, perhaps in error, that making the Religion… choice does not preclude making the Undermines… choice, so the 5% for the latter isn’t just an enumeration of left-overs.

  15. says

    “Let My worship be in the heart that rejoices, for behold! All acts of love and pleasure are My rituals.”

    Odd, my (old) religion doesn’t seem to oppose same-sex marriage.

  16. noastronomer says

    If “Civil unions are sufficient” then why do we need marriage at all? Why can’t we all just have civil union equality?

    So that answer, like most of the others, is also dodging the question.

    Mike.

  17. Ichthyic says

    with the long standing failures to correct for bias in the questions regarding evolution/religion, the utter failure to even TRY to figure out why their numbers were so off for this last election (given their historical accuracy previous), and this current example of a completely inane set of “poll questions” on this particular subject, I personally believe gallup has lost much of the credibility it used to have.

    so… what should be the new source for reliable poll data?

    suggestions?

  18. Ichthyic says

    ….addendum: I realize this in an “open ended” poll, but my point still stands. Gallup is no longer the reliable standard it once was.

  19. ursamajor says

    Gallop was never a reliable standard – their
    questions and interpretations have always had a strong right-wing bias.

  20. John Hinkle says

    so IS there another standard for poll data?

    Sure. Republicans call it their gut. The only problem with this standard is its margin of error.

  21. slc1 says

    Re usramajor @ #20

    When the founder of the firm, George Gallup, was alive and running things, the Gallup poll was considered the gold standard. One of the great urban legends says that Gallup was wrong in 1948. However, the reason he was wrong in 1948 had nothing to do with his sampling techniques; it was, instead, due to his decision to stop polling several weeks before the election as it appeared, at that time, that Dewey was so far ahead that Truman’s cause was hopeless. He learned from that mistake and never repeated it. Subsequently, he polled up through the weekend before the election. In this way, he was able to predict that the 1968 election was going to be close, due to a last minute surge for Humphrey, which showed up in polls he took during the last week of the campaign, even though polls taken several weeks before the election suggested that Humphrey’s cause was hopeless

    It would appear that George Gallup’s successors, for whatever reason, have greatly degraded the Gallup poll, which has probably caused George to turn over in his grave.

  22. freethinkercro says

    I suspect that religion is really a cover for the real reason many oppose gay marriage (which is true for many for prejudices). I think the real reason is “ICK“.

  23. vmanis1 says

    I think it only fair to point out that many people who support marriage equality do so from a religious basis as well, citing the Parable of the Good Samaritan (if they’re Christian), or Levitcal injunctions to `Love your neighbor as yourself’. (The Golden Rule is pretty universal in statements of human ethics, here is the Buddha on that subject: `Hurt not others in ways that you yourself would find hurtful.’).

    I know many people would say that this is an ethical rather than a religious principle; my point is that many others would describe this as one of their fundamental religious principles.

  24. Ichthyic says

    Sure. Republicans call it their gut. The only problem with this standard is its margin of error.

    …and all the vomit.

  25. freemage says

    vmanis @25: Which simply points out the fallibility of religion as a moral or ethical guide. Holy writ can generally be interpreted and re-interpreted at will, and has been done throughout the history of religion itself (heck, Paul himself engaged in the practice when he got “eating shrimp and bacon cheeseburgers” taken off the “abomination” list).

    The two answers that reference “tradition” are what I’ve come to think of as “religious answers for the not-very-religious”. People who aren’t comfortable saying that their God is a hateful homophobe default to “tradition” instead–but of course, this ignores where those traditions come from.

  26. vmanis1 says

    freemage: you have it backwards. In fact, given the vast disparities of things published in books, it would be as reasonable to talk of the fallibility of books, in general, as a moral or ethical guide. My point is that many people would describe the framework they use to reach ethical conclusions as having a religious basis.

    A more useful point would be to note that not all religions are equal. We can compare the Carthaginians’ practice of infant sacrifice with the version of Buddhism taught by the Buddha, or the witch- and Jew-killling Christians of a few hundred years ago with the 19th-century abolitionists whose opposition to slavery was based upon religious grounds. Some religions deserve opprobrium, while others deserve admiration. And to admire a religion for the ethical framework it presents does not require that one share the religious framework the believers follow.

    There are people whose God (or gods) are not hateful homophobes, and thus their religious conclusions don’t embody homophobia.

  27. says

    “My point is that many people would describe the framework they use to reach ethical conclusions as having a religious basis”

    I think that is incorrect. I was raised Cath-O-Lick and the people who were the worst ethical examples were all religious people including clergy, laiety and nuns. I had some great exemplars of ethics as well, some of them were religious–their religion never impressed me as having made them moral.

    You’re a decent person or you’re not, if the only reason you have for being ethical is your religion, well, then, you’ve got a problem.

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