Legal status of, and support for, same-sex marriage in each state. Graphic courtesy of Public Religion Research Institute

Like it or not, most expect gay marriage will sweep the US

Legal status of, and support for, same-sex marriage in each state. Graphic courtesy of Public Religion Research Institute

Legal status of, and support for, same-sex marriage in each state. Graphic courtesy of Public Religion Research Institute

 This image is available for web and print publication. For questions, contact Sally Morrow.

(RNS) Most Americans -- including people from every major religious group -- predict gay marriage will be legalized nationwide when a hotly anticipated Supreme Court ruling is announced later this month.

Among those who favor legalizing same-sex marriage, 80 percent think the high court will rule their way, according to a survey by the Public Religion Research Institute released Thursday (June 11). And among those who oppose gay marriage, 47 percent say that’s the likely outcome, too.

Overall, PRRI found that 65 percent of U.S. adults expect a sweep for gay marriage. Only 25 percent predict the Supreme Court will leave existing state bans intact. And despite how contentious public debate has been on this issue for a decade, 10 percent of Americans say they have no opinion.

Yet, even before the marriage ruling is issued, public attention is shifting toward new contentious issues: Should there be nationwide laws banning discrimination for LGBT people  in the workplace, housing and public accommodations? Should there be a religious exemption to such laws?

PRRI found that 69 percent of people overall -- including a strong majority of all major religious groups -- would support nondiscrimination laws. Only 34 percent overall say business owners should be able, based on their religion, to refuse service to LGBT clientele.

But views vary significantly when it comes to religious exemptions for businesses. Here, white evangelicals are the only tradition where a majority (51 percent) support allowing small businesses to refuse products or services to gay and lesbian people on religious grounds.

"They want to support the principle of nondiscrimination while carving out exemptions for themselves,” said Robert Jones, president and CEO of PRRI.

Nonwhite Christians see things differently. Nearly 2 in 3 (63 percent) oppose exemptions to nondiscrimination laws. Jones said the idea of legal loopholes for refusing service may bring up “memories of past experience with segregated lunch counters and businesses refusing to serve them.”

Workers march for employment equality at San Francisco's Market and Castro streets in 2010.  Creative Commons image by Matt Baume

Workers march for employment equality at San Francisco's Market and Castro streets in 2010. Creative Commons image by Matt Baume

There is no federal employment nondiscrimination law covering LGBT people in all 50 states. But most people don’t know that, said Jones.

“Earlier surveys show many Americans think we already have nationwide, blanket federal laws protecting them. People don’t realize it’s a patchwork of state laws,” he said.

According to the Human Rights Campaign, "there are no state laws in 29 states that explicitly prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation, and in 32 states that do so based on gender identity. "

Other key findings from PRRI include:

Age, faith and politics divide Americans.

Young adults, Democrats and most Christians, except white evangelicals, favor allowing gay and lesbian couples to marry legally, while 37 percent are opposed. Only 29 percent of white evangelical Protestants and 35 percent of nonwhite Protestants support making same-sex marriage legal.

Respondents support discrimination protections for LGBT people.

Nearly 7 in 10 (69 percent) Americans, including majorities across the religious spectrum, favor laws that would protect LGBT people against discrimination in jobs, public accommodations and housing, compared with 25 percent who oppose such policies.

Few approve of allowing religious exemptions for small businesses.

Six in 10 (60 percent) Americans oppose allowing a small business owner to refuse products or services to gay and lesbian people, even if doing so violates their religious beliefs. White evangelical Protestants (51 percent) are the only religious group in which a majority favors religious exemptions.

Almost everyone knows someone LGBT.

About 2 in 3 (65 percent) say they have a close friend or family member who is gay or lesbian; 35 percent know someone bisexual and 11 percent know someone transgender. The friend-or-family tally is sharply higher among millennials.

Transgender people face “a lot of discrimination.” 

Majorities, including 72 percent of people with no religious identity, 68 percent of Catholics, 60 percent of white mainline Protestants and 53 percent of nonwhite Protestants, agree on this. The only exception is white evangelicals: 49 percent in this group say transgender people face "a lot of discrimination," while 37 percent disagree and 15 percent had no opinion.



  1. I am not surprised by this situation, as it is becoming a growing trend worldwide. However, the Bible foretold what kind of people would be living in the last days of a wicked era (2 Timothy 3:1-5). Lower morals is one indication of this (“lovers of pleasures rather than lovers of God”) and is an obvious sign these days.

  2. Yes things are certainly lining up with the end the age: “When the Son of Man returns, will he find any Faith on the earth” Luke 18:8.

  3. Remember that we are awaiting the future decision to put a mark on your hand or forehead making sure that you are part of the secular class of human beings. Forcing everyone to “affirm” the LGBT ways is an ominous and odious sign.

    Notice that everyone must bow to the gay throne. Not just tolerate and move on. No, no, this is about affirming a behavior that is utterly depraved. It appears that the Gay Agenda will be that mechanism that the secularists use to make sure everyone complies to an decidedly satanic paradigm. Business is business.

    “Gay affirming,” simply means citizen of the world. And we know how accurately Jesus defined the world and its ways. That sex acts have been raised to the level of race and minority status should be the warning signs of danger to society. But the dumbing down of the populace has sexuality a product like any other.

    In many ways this is exciting to see the Bible’s predictions coming to a home near you. No wait, coming to a home you…

  4. I believe it will happen, yes, add it to legalized abortion, euthanasia, pornography, gambling, and drug use, and the world will be almost unrecognizable to any of us over 50. Sad, ugly, and reeking of filth.
    Funny we can’t feed the hungry, stop war, or encourage goodness. Guess we’re too busy endorsing self indulgence. May God forgive us all.

  5. So the Holocaust wasn’t a sign of “end times,” slavery in the US wasn’t a sign of the “end times” but two adults who love each other is. No wonder so many people are leaving the church! You people are scary!!

  6. Funny, Christians like yourself show absolutely no concern for the hungry, the war torn, molested children or good behavior, but are obsessed with what consenting adults do in their bedroom. Such sad, ugly people reeking of hypocrisy, and bigotry.

    God may forgive you guys, but nobody else should be giving you the time of day.

  7. If those “consenting adults” would just keep their bedroom business confined to their OWN bedrooms, (instead of dragging their bedrooms into the public courthouses and public Christian businesses), we wouldn’t be seeing all these national problems popping up.

  8. May I quote St. Henny Penny?

    The sky is falling!
    The flipping sky is falling!!
    The freakin’ sky is freakin’ falling!!!

  9. That would have been a nice zinger of a retort if not for the fact that bible beating bigots had this nasty habit of legislating gay marriage bans in several states. Had they left well enough alone and weren’t such malicious folk, it would be another decade before we had this discussion.

    Its not the gays keeping you from showing concern for the poor, war torn, hungry or victims of horrific crimes. If you guys weren’t attacking gays, you would be attacking secularists, women seeking family planning, and religious minorities.

  10. “Gay” marriage may sweep the nation, but the Ronald household will not be getting caught up in this nationwide craze! Obama’s thugs will have to shoot me dead before I marry another man!

    Mankind in his hubris may have created a “Supreme Court” but it is the Eternal Word of God as manifested in the Holy Bible that still rules SUPREME over all!

    Traditional Marriage today!
    Traditional Marriage tomorrow!
    Traditional Marriage FOREVER!

  11. Like it or not, the wicked will be turned into hell, even all the nations that forget God.

  12. “Funny we can’t feed the hungry, stop war, or encourage goodness.”

    Stop voting Republican.

  13. Actually, Ryan, during any period of social upheaval, millennial and apocalyptic speculations rise. They did so during the Civil War, which Lincoln himself believed was God’s judgment on slavery. And they did so in the 1930s when Adolf was on the move…..some thought he was the anti-Christ.

  14. Larry, tell that to the plethora of Christian relief-and-development and international justice ministries spanning the globe.

    As usual, you get your facts from sensationalist media rather than objective reality.

  15. Republicans’ worst sin is “do-nothing,” but Democrats are far worse, because their top-down, big-government-driven approach has been a terrible disaster, locking generations of people into vicious cycles of poverty and pathology.

    The answer is a third way, beyond “do-nothing” and big government. It’s to empower community-based nonprofit groups who are already on the front lines fighting poverty. They have the expertise but lack money and government has money but lacks expertise. Marry the two and you will put a real dent in poverty and free millions from lives of dependency and despair.

  16. Since the idea of gay marriage and the revolting tactics of gay activists sicken me, I will never comment on a gay.themed article here again. That will be difficult since RNS seems to back the whole disordered mindset.

  17. You just cited the speech of a man proudly defending racial segregation. How fitting. Please tell me I missed the sarcasm.

  18. When an ungodly nation radically acts in opposition to the ways of God, He can remove his protection, and wars can erupt. And it certainly seems like a big one is brewing, as the world seems in free-fall at present.

  19. Yes, that’s the whole “gay agenda” right there: that once same-sex couples are given the right to marry, all traditional marriages will be automatically annulled and all citizens over the age of 13 will be forced into marriage with a randomly selected same-sex partner in a Moonie-style mass wedding. Just like when African-Americans got the right to vote, the secret factories got to work on making the microchips that would be implanted into people’s brains to make them vote for Obama (for whom they were already forging a birth certificate).

  20. Nobody says you have to stay here The door is always open Greg1. I hear Russia is now trying to become a Christian Nation. They even are carrying out pogroms against gays and Muslims. What more could you want?

  21. “1930s when Adolf was on the move…..some thought he was the anti-Christ.”

    But most thought he was doing good work for the churches in ridding European society of the Jews, Communists and social progressives.

  22. You aren’t one of them.

    Those aren’t the Christians who are moaning about marriage equality. Those people are doing real work and showing concern for real issues.

    Not like yourself.

    Fundies for the most part, don’t do squat for society at large out of anything besides sectarian self-interest. But they are more than happy to take credit for the kinds of Christians they would typically ignore, attack or consider “not really Christian”.

  23. How would you possibly know what “fundies” (whatever you think they are) do or don’t do for society? Or what Jack does or doesn’t do? Do you not realize that making stereotypical pronouncements like that about complete strangers invariably makes a monkey out of you?

  24. Be not afraid. Marriage equality is not the end of the world, just the end of the last legal prejudice.

  25. Greg1,

    ” When an ungodly nation radically acts in opposition to the ways of God,… ”

    But —

    1. Man’s ‘ways’ are of the Lord,…Proverbs 20:24

    2. For ‘everything’ comes from him and exists by his power and is intended for his glory…..Romans 11:36

  26. Anthony,

    ” If those “consenting adults” would just keep their bedroom business confined to their OWN bedrooms,… ”

    But those consenting adults ‘do’ in fact keep their bedroom business to themselves, but it’s always the judgementalists who accuse them of being sodomites when they can’t possibly know what goes on in those bedrooms.

    Generalizations are ‘not’ wise to make.

  27. Shawnie, if you spent less of your time attacking people in your own faith as being not “biblically accurate” and “not really Christians” then you would could claim the acts of mainstream Christians with a straight face.

    You spend most of the time distancing yourself from the majority of people who identify themselves as Christian, claiming some kind of spiritual superiority to them. You don’t get to take credit for their works just because its convenient in a discussion with outsiders.

    How many of those “relief and development” and “international justice” ministries Jack referred to are spending their time and efforts supporting discrimination and sectarianism? Fundamentalists spend their efforts doing nothing but such things. Think of all the money wasted on fundamentalist social conservative pet peeves, which would have been better spent caring for the poor.

    So no, Jack was not referring to Christians like you or himself.

  28. Ronald is a “Poe’s Law” troll.

    His shtick is to show extreme positions are indistinguishable from parody. This one was more obvious than usual with a citation to a famous speech.

  29. “You spend most of the time distancing yourself from the majority of people who identify themselves as Christian” That is not an accurate statement — but even if it were, disagreeing with the “majority” of self-identified Christians would not necessarily make me wrong.

    “claiming some kind of spiritual superiority to them” When have I claimed “spiritual superiority?” While I freely admit to having a problem with intellectual elitism, I reject any accusation of feeling “spiritually superior.” Christianity by definition precludes any claim to spiritual superiority, as one does not turn to a Savior without an awareness of sins that one needs to be saved FROM.

  30. How many of those “relief and development” and “international justice” ministries Jack referred to are spending their time and efforts supporting discrimination and sectarianism? Fundamentalists spend their efforts doing nothing but such things.” More stereotypes and outsider conceits. My church has multiple relief ministries both here and abroad but most of our members who work them do not affirm or condone same-sex marriage. I’m sure I don’t know where you get the idea that non-affirming churches do less for the poor than affirming ones…the church is the force that enshrined charity as a paramount value in western civilization in the first place and it has condemned same-sex behavior for almost the entirety of its 2000 year history.

  31. “Think of all the money wasted on fundamentalist social conservative pet peeves, which would have been better spent caring for the poor.”

    The best response to that is to recall a similar statement by another famous blowhard:

    “But Judas Iscariot, one of His disciples, who was intending to betray Him, said, “Why was this perfume not sold for three hundred denarii and given to poor people? Now he said this, not because he was concerned about the poor, but because he was a thief.” John 12:6

  32. I ‘ll Believe that when I see it. You get too much pleasure from reviling and slander, from being a moralizing busybody with a large dose of self righteousness ever to give it up.

    But on the off chance that you’re telling the truth for once, “Buh-bye.”

  33. Even them?

    wow. Does that mean all of the Protestants, or just the Catholics?

    Or vice versa?

  34. Ah yes. The very same John who said what he said about the Jews.

    Judas was not a traitor. Christian theology says he was not a traitor, else how could Jesus have made his sacrifice. Judas wasn’t a traitor, he was a patsy.

  35. It didn’t say “traitor.” It simply said Judas would “betray” Him, that is, give away to the authorities his location and identity at the opportune time.

  36. As a Christian, I find your view point to be pretty extreme and not a sound reading of scripture. It makes Christians look bad.

  37. I’m sure that you don’t see the relationship with your husband solely as “loving pleasures,” but yet you easily dismiss your brothers and sisters who want to have their committed relationships that are not built on “pleasures” alone but on a deep commitment and love for one another, to uphold one another, to live for and with one another as long as they live. I would suggest that one of the ways in which we fail is when we too easily pass judgement on one another, when we make assumptions about others, when we do not welcome the stranger, when we fail to show love and respect for one another. That to me is a much more dangerous trend in our society.

  38. There is no “bowing to the gay throne.” But, there is serving others, treating others with love and kindness, and embodying the fruits of the spirit. I wonder how denying hospitality and kindness to one another really lives out any true Christian faith authentically. But then, you insist that gay relationships couldn’t possibly be about anything more than “sex acts.” If I reduced your marriage to nothing more than sex acts, you would call me out in anger, because your relationship is much more than what you do in the bedroom. But, it’s okay to cheapen gay people and their relationships? This type of ugly rhetoric has no place in the world of Christ who went forth in love…even when he came forth to heal and tell others to “sin no more” (as though it were humanly possible without the death and resurrection of Christ which gives the gift of Grace to us in the first place), he STILL treated the sinner with love and understanding. He touched them, he spoke to them, he dined…

  39. Well, gosh, maybe we should keep all our consensual relationships out of the public eye. Good grief. I suppose you’d say the same to the interracial couples who had the audacity to use the courts to challenge laws that banned their consensual relationships too. Please.

  40. Be Brave might consider changing their name to: Am Silly. I am 72 years old and my husband is 66. If you think our lives are about nothing more than sex you are indeed silly. We have been in a loving relationship for 48 years, and legally married for 11. All we ask for is to be given the same respect that other married couples expect. We both love Jesus, and His is the only Throne we bow to. Yes, we do make a few demands: To be treated with respect and not has something vile that is stuck on the bottom of your shoe. To be welcome at your church, where God’s children meet to worship. Not to be denied basic service at a business that is open to the public. If you disagree with these demands, then you are not a follower of Jesus. But a Pharisee, who Jesus despised. I write this post from Canada, where same-sex marriage is legal in every province. Soon our friends in the U.S. will be also blessed with that right.

  41. That’s because Christians of your sort are far more concerned about that I do with my dangly bits than they are about any of those very serious issues.

    The so-called Christians’ obsession with my sex life led to the two worst disasters in the last twenty years for America:

    the two terms of George bush.

    Which gave us two wars that have bankrupted us even more, the destabilization of the entire middle east, the persecution of Christians wherever fundamentalist Islam has raised it’s ugly head, and the worst financial catastrophe since the great depression.

    But you’re worried about my sex life.

  42. Nope a woman can love a man so much she makes him her God Not just talking about Gays That being said if u are christian and u even passed judgment then haha u get to stay down here as well!!!

  43. I pray for the LGBT that Christ would save and change that heart and mind thats been lied to by Satan. “You weren’t born this way”…. You need to get born again! It’s a sad day for AMERICA today, Right now we’re mocking God to His very face and it’s just sad how far we’ve fallen as a nation…. where do we draw the line? This will surely lead to polygamy, incest and beastiality to say the least. Most will say oh no it wont…..really? Where do we draw the line. There will be no bottom to this thing. Im not for the LGBT agenda but oppose it…I will never accept it. Call me old fashion, HATER or whatever you may! Tom greene (a polygamist) with the help and support of the ACLU is fighting for legalized marriage to 5 (not 1 or 2) but 5 wives right now. Whats to stop him? But God help us when we now call evil good and good evil not just in regards to LGBT, what about the 50 million babies the U.S. has murdered in the name of pro-choice? There was a time God winked at sin not…

  44. Throughout the bible God clearly outlines what sin is but goes a little further by clearly stating this as something he ESPECIALLY HATES. To be LGBT is detestable and an abomination unto the Lord. Throughout History if you study it in the Bible and whether you are LGBT or not
    “EVERY fall of every Great Civilization has ENDED in rampant homosexuality”! Sodom and Gomorrah and the Times of Noah…..its sad…and here we are again in 2015. I’m posting to sound the alarm JESUS is about to show up on the scene and we’re about to go home we ALL need to prepare our hearts and repent before the Lord… Are we truly saved? Filled with the Holy Spirit and washed in the Blood? After Sept 2015 this world as we know it will no longer be the same I believe that month of this year is significant in the bible..its i believe a threshold that we as a nation and world will be crossing over where God’s graceful and merciful hand will be lifted…don’t believe me google and youtube this word…

  45. We as true Christian believers dont belong to this world, we aren’t moved by this world nor are we governed or dictated by a confused one world system. We refuse to bow to societies new agenda the “new norm”… We belong to a kingdom where Jesus is King. We are ripe as the bride of Christ for His Coming! The world may mock us and laugh now but it’s gonna be a sad day when the multitudes of people that didn’t want to repent miss His coming. Thank God he’s going to bring us out of this modern day Sodom and Gomorrah before utter destruction comes upon the earth…judgements coming the last BLOOD MOON (means war is coming) according to Nasa will be this year and will fall on the holiest of Jewish holy days…Coincidence? I don’t think so… Does anyone else see that we are living in the final countdown of it all…PEOPLE…CHRISTIANS WAKE UP…..I IMPLORE YOU….Jesus said no person will know the day or hour but we will know the seasons and see the signs in the heavens…

Leave a Comment