Catholic-Evangelical Split Over Gay Marriage

Churches played an influential role in the passage of Proposition 8 almost two years ago. But researcher Robert Jones said his polling indicated that religious people hardly form a monolith when it comes to gay marriage.

Jones heads the Public Religion Research Institute. The organization’s survey of 3,351 churchgoers in California found that White mainline Protestants - including Episcopalians and Lutherans – and Catholics are support same-sex marriage than substantially more than Protestant evangelicals and African American Protestants.

The split is biggest among Latinos. The poll found that 57% of Latino Catholics would vote for same-sex marriage today, compared to just 22% Latino Protestants.

“Overall what we really see here is a general Protestant-Catholic divide," researcher Dan Cox said. "So white Protestants verses white Catholics, we have a 20-point difference with white Protestants more likely to report hearing their clergy speak out on this issue. And we see the same size gap between Latino Protestants and Catholics as well."

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