The issue remains divisive; as many adults “strongly” oppose gay marriage as strongly support it, and opposition rises to more than 2-1 among Republicans and conservatives and 3-1 among evangelical white Protestants, a core conservative group. But opposition to gay marriage has weakened in these groups from its levels a few years ago, and support has grown sharply among others – notably, among Catholics, political moderates, people in their 30s and 40s and men. . . .
Support is up by a striking 23 points among white Catholics, often a swing group and one that’s been ready, in many cases, to disregard church positions on political or social issues. But they have company: Fifty-seven percent of non-evangelical white Protestants now also support gay marriage, up 16 points from its level five years ago. Evangelicals, as noted, remain very broadly opposed. But even in their ranks, support for gay marriage is up by a double-digit margin.
As I noted last month, the prescient University of Southern Illinois sociologist Darren Sherkat observed this very trend in the General Social Survey data from 2010. And he, too, has found “there is substantial, entrenched, opposition to same-sex marriage, and opposition to same-sex marriage in the younger cohorts is rooted strongly in religious and political identifications.” Indeed the ABC poll, while finding a double-digit increase in support for gay marriage among evangelicals, found that only 25% of evangelicals support gay marriage — that’s up 11 points from the 14% that supported it in 2006.
It shows you just how out of touch evangelicals and religiously-driven Tea Party are from the rest of America on this issue.