Catholics Overwhelmingly Supportive of LGBT Equality, New Research Shows

New research conducted by the Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI) indicates that Catholics, today more than ever, are showing strong support for LGBT equality across a range of issues.  In what the PRRI describes as “the most comprehensive portrait of Catholic attitudes on gay and lesbian issues assembled to date,” their research shows that nearly three-quarters (74%) of Catholics favor some sort of relationship recognition for gay and lesbian couples.  The PRRI research findings were announced just days after an ABC News/Washington Post poll concluded for the first time that more than half (53%) of Americans support marriage equality (63% of them Catholic), as compared to 40% who indicated they were supportive in 2004.

Other significant findings from the PRRI research include:

-6-in-10 (60%) Catholics favor allowing gay and lesbian couples to adopt children

-63% support allowing gay and lesbian people to serve openly in the military

-nearly 73% of Catholics favor laws that would protect gay and lesbian people against discrimination in the workplace

Both the PRRI research and the ABC News/Washington Post poll show Catholics to be more supportive of marriage equality than Evangelicals and other Protestant faith communities.

“It may come as a surprise to many that rank and file Catholics are more supportive of rights for gays and lesbians than other Christians and the public,” said Dr. Robert P. Jones, CEO of Public Religion Research Institute.  “But the best data available paints this consistent portrait across a range of issues, including same-sex marriage, workplace non-discrimination, open military service, and adoption...for gay and lesbian couples.”

"The findings of these polls are heartening, but not surprising," said Catholics for Equality Executive Director Phil Attey.  "American Catholics consistently poll higher on progressive social justice issues - including the freedom to marry for all.  Our Catholic faith tradition is strongly based on social justice and our duty to take care of those who are unjustly oppressed and marginalized."

GLAAD appreciates the research conducted by PRRI, and we look forward to the positive impact it will have on the overall movement for LGBT equality.  At the same time, we encourage the media to share these findings with their audiences.