When LifeWay Research, a Christian polling firm connected to the Southern Baptist Convention, conducted its poll on attitudes toward same-sex marriage, they probably didn’t expect to find that nearly two-thirds of Americans think its inevitable—whether they support it or not.
According to a survey of 1,191 U.S. adults, 64% believe federal marriage equality is coming, like it or lump it.
“We’re kind of in a national conversation about, not just the issue of marriage and homosexuality, but really how our culture responds both to shifting views on the issue and views that aren’t shifting,” said pollster Ed Stetzer.
Even conservative crony Newt Gingrich has said more states extending marriage rights to gay couples was “inevitable,” and you know he’s not happy about that.
The data reveals that women (61%), those with college educations (65%), and those under 30 (65%) are more likely to agree that sexual orientation is a civil-rights issue like gender race and age. “The research does show lines and divisions on these issues clearly exist in our country,” Stetzer said.
Other findings from the poll, which was weighted by region, age, ethnicity, gender and education level:
* 63% believe clergy should be allowed to refuse to officiate over same-sex weddings. (That percentage jumps to 74% for people who identify as “Born Again, evangelical, or fundamentalist Christian”
* 58% believe photographers should be able to reject gay couples (in contrast, 72% of fundamentalists do).
* 40% believe rental halls should be able to refuse to book same-sex weddings (compared to the 57% of fundamentalists who feel that way).
* 20% believe landlords should be able to reject gay tenants and 14% said employers should be able to discriminate against homosexuals.
* Men are more likely than women to agree these individuals should have the right to refuse services, rental agreements, or employment
* Americans age 65 and older are more likely to agree (37%) that landlords should be allowed to refuse to rent housing to same-sex couples.