Majority of US Catholics OK with gay marriage

Pope Francis’ message of tolerance and love may have given US Catholics the final nudge they needed to follow their own consciences. A majority are now OK with gay marriage:

Quinniapiac — American Catholics agree 68 – 23 percent, with little difference between more observant and less observant Catholics, with Pope Francis’ recent observation that the Church has become too focused on issues such as homosexuality, abortion and contraceptives, according to a Quinnipiac University national poll released today. Support for the Pope’s observation is strong among men, women and all age groups, the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University poll finds.

American Catholics support same-sex marriage 60 – 31 percent, compared to the 56 – 36 percent support among all U.S. adults. More devout Catholics, who attend religious services about once a week, support same- sex marriage 53 – 40 percent, while less observant Catholics support it 65 – 26 percent.

Catholic women support same-sex marriage 72 – 22 percent, while Catholic men support it 49 – 40 percent. Support ranges from 46 – 37 percent among Catholics over 65 years old to 64 – 27 percent among Catholics 18 to 49 years old.


  1. Robert B. says

    I think the majority of US Catholics are just OK. Whenever I hear about them it’s a good thing – they seem to be, on average, much less crazy and evil than their church. This is borne out by the majority of Catholics I’ve met, too.

    It says something about religion that Catholics can be so different than Catholicism.

  2. grumpyoldfart says

    The article begins like this:

    October 4, 2013 – U.S. Catholics Back Pope On Changing Church Focus, Quinnipiac University National Poll Finds; Catholics Support Gay Marriage, Women Priests 2-1

    So they’re not really expressing their own opinion. They’re just saying that they agree with whatever the Pope tells them. If the Pope changes his mind about the gays (or the Jews, or eating meat on Friday) those same gullible parishioners will immediately stop thinking and go right along with him.

  3. left0ver1under says

    Who is telling whom what’s okay?

    In a picture, walking backwards behind a crowd may look like you’re leading it. But in real time, it looks like you’re being dragged along against your will.

  4. AMM says

    A simpler interpretation of the results is that US Catholics are pretty much like the USA population at large. Acceptance of same-sex marriage in the USA population has been increasing over time, so I’d expect acceptance among Catholics to increase, too. Besides, it would be a real stretch to interpret the pope’s comments as signalling any kind of change in Church policy. It’s just a “kinder, gentler” version of what they’ve been preaching all along.

    The slightly greater acceptance of same-sex marriage by Catholics than the population at large can be explained by selection bias. The Catholic church (the corporation) may be pretty reactionary, but there are non-Catholic religious sects in the USA that are far more reactionary than even the Catholic Church, and in the USA, lay Catholics tend to be more liberal than the Church. Basically, when you restrict your survey to USA Catholics, you exclude certain population segments that tend to be the most socially reactionary.

Leave a Reply