Just saw your interview with Chris Hayes regarding Republican politicians attending gay weddings. As always, you are a great spokesperson for our movement. (I have been a big fan of yours since the 1990s.) One correction I want to point out. You erroneously stated that Catholics have the highest rate of pro-LGBT positions. Unless something has changed in the past year, which I doubt, it is actually Jews who rank as #1 in this regard. This has been corroborated by numerous polls over the past decade or so.
Catholics, however, have consistently ranked very high, either #2 or #3. The other high ranking religious groups are mainline Protestants. If there is new polling info, could you let me know? I like to follow this stuff. Obviously mentioning Jews in the interview wasn't relevant since it was a response regarding Catholic Santorum. Plus, how many Jewish politicians are there who don't support LGBT rights. In my 13 years of work in the marriage equality movement, I have only met one Jewish legislator who consistently votes against LGBT bills, the rest have been solid supporters.
I misspoke: I meant to say American Catholics were more supportive of marriage equality than other American Christians, not more supportive than all other American faith communities. My statement was a bungled reference to a 2011 ABC poll, which found that a whopping (and defiant) 63 percent of white American Catholics supported same-sex marriage. What about non-white American Catholics? "The poll has an insufficient sample size to evaluate individual racial minority groups reliably," the authors wrote. "However, support for gay marriage is essentially identical among whites, 53 percent, and
nonwhites, 54 percent." So we can infer that non-white Catholics support marriage equality as well. I was referring to the data from that 2011 poll when I pointed out that Rick Santorum was out of step not just with the broader American public (the majority of which supports marriage equality), but out of step with other American Catholics as well. Worse news for Rick Santorum: Young American Catholics—he and his wife have pumped out seven of those—support marriage equality overwhelmingly (75 percent), says Pew. (Catholics, as Jonathan Capehart pointed out in 2011, have long been the "best friends of the gays.")
But, hey, American Catholics may no longer be our bestest best friends:
A new poll released this week found that the majority of most major religious groups now fully embrace marriage equality, and that even groups who oppose the right to marry are abandoning anti-LGBT views at a surprising rate.
On Wednesday, the Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI) unveiled new data from their American Values Atlas, a survey conducted last year that interviewed 40,000 people across the country. In expectation of next week’s U.S. Supreme Court case on same-sex marriage, PRRI published a list of religious perspectives on marriage equality, reporting that the majority of Catholics (60 percent), white mainline Protestants (62 percent), and Jewish Americans (77 percent) either “favor” or “strongly favor” legal recognition of marriages for LGBT couples. “A decade ago, the most supportive religious groups were white mainline Protestants and Catholics, with 36 percent and 35 percent support, respectively,” Robert Jones, CEO of PRRI, wrote in a blog post. “Today, major religious groups reside on both sides of this issue and within many key groups—such as Catholics—support among rank and file members is now at odds with official church opposition.”
Another interesting detail from the PRRI poll: American Muslims are more supportive than marriage equality than what evangelical protestants:
American Muslims and white evangelical Protestants, for instance, both oppose same-sex marriage in the survey, but with a key difference: a full 42 percent of Muslims told PRRI they support marriage equality, while only 28 percent of white evangelicals said the same. In addition, 56 percent of Orthodox Christians gave a thumbs up to the right to marry, as did 84 percent of Buddhists and 55 percent of Hindus.
But the biggest takeaway from the latest poll is this: When an antigay Christian hate group or one of their spokespersons claims to speak for a majority of Christians—which they always do—they're bearing false witness against the majority of American Christians.